We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Prevent Rusted Screws?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The easiest way to prevent rust on screws is to shield them completely from moisture, be it through selective placement or protective coatings and sealants. Purchasing specially formulated, rust resistant or rustproof screws is usually helpful, as well. Many of the most effective rust prevention tools must be purchased commercially at hardware or home improvement stores. Depending on the types of screws at issue, a number of home remedies may also work.

Rust is the result of a chemical reaction between certain metal compounds and water vapor. The presence of certain oxidizing agents, particularly salt, tends to increase a metal’s propensity to rust. Screws that are used outdoors or in moist environments like bathrooms or swimming pools are particularly prone to rusting. The best way to shield screws from the moisture latent in their surroundings is by covering them with some form of a protective sealant.

Commercial anti-rust solutions often come in the form of liquid lacquers or sprays. Most of these contain zinc, which is well known to resist corrosion, as well as graphite powder to aid adhesion. In high-moisture settings, it is important to coat the entire screw before using it. This can make construction somewhat difficult, as treated screws are bound to be slippery. Simply coating the heads and the majority of the neck during installation is usually easier, and lends similar results.

how do i prevent rusted screw

Many hardware stores sell specially-formulated screws made of alloys designed to resist rust, which make for more of a foolproof solution. Screws made of or coated with zinc, tin, or chrome only rarely succumb to corrosion, and are of particular use in industrial settings. Topical coatings are not usually required to prevent rusted screws, though settings should nonetheless be regularly checked for signs of water penetration.

Specialized screws can be costly and are not always the best choice for more casual use. In and around the home, standard screws are usually a more economical option. Stainless steel varieties tend to be more rust resistant than basic metal options, but even these cannot guarantee against rusted screws. Regularly checking and sealing screws is usually the best option for more budget-conscious property owners.

Painting over screws is often one of the easiest means of rust prevention in simple construction settings. While paint is not usually a foolproof way to prevent rusted screws, it can work as a temporary barrier. Screws that are painted to match their surroundings often blend more seamlessly, as well.

Treatments must usually be checked each year to be sure that all metal areas remain covered. For outdoor screws, this is often best accomplished in the summer, when things are driest. Quick touch-ups are often all that is required to keep rusted screws at bay for another season.

Nail varnish is another simple solution, particularly for Small screws in bathrooms and kitchens. Clear nail enamel provides the same moisture-sealing benefits as paint, but in a less obtrusive and often barely noticeable way. Wax, mineral oil, and more general around-the-house sealants work similarly. Do-it-yourself fixes are not always appropriate ways to prevent rusted screws in large-scale building projects or in more industrialized settings, but are often the easiest solutions for screws here and there around the house.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.