Dear Guru? Use Galvanized Nails or Not?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

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DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I was at the hardware store at lunch, buying galvanized nails, was told that the galvanized nails cause the pressure treated wood to degrade and the nails to pull out??????   Is that right? I also visited my local Menard’s and was given the same answer from them. PERPLEXED

DEAR PERPLEXED: One of the REQUIRED choices for nails into pressure preservative treated wood, under the Building Codes, are hot dipped (HD) galvanized nails. If a nail (galvanized or not) is through siding or roofing into untreated lumber, and not properly driven, water may seep in around the nail, causing wood degradation. I’ve researched every source I know, and have been unable to find any documentation which backs up what appears to be merely a rural myth.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: What do you recommend as far as ice or snow guards for a metal roof? We had a couple of big snow storms last winter and the snow and ice from one slid down and ripped the gutters off one side of the roof. Don’t want to have to replace them again.

4/12 pitch in the Kansas City area. SLIPPERY SLOPE

DEAR SLIPPERY: After researching I found your particular building is designed with the roof truss load adjusted for the roofing being a slick surface (so the snow slides off). This is very typically for steel roofs. Any snow or ice guards, which prevent snow from sliding off of your roof, could end up overloading the trusses. You might consider one of several available methods of melting the snow at the edges of your roof.  Read about them here:

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