Corroded fasteners in joist hangers

Did a home inspection today where the clients main concern was the stability of the deck, a recent deck collapse in the area had her worried. During inspection I noticed every single fastener in the joist hangers was corroded. Whats everyone’s call on this? I tried looking this up online but the only thing that I see is corroded joist hangers and no one really talks about the nails being corroded. How do you write it up in your reports and do all of you call this? Thanks for the help

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Wrong nails.
Look for joist hangers manufacturer nails specifications.


Those look like maybe a 6D or 8D common? Joist hanger nails are galvanized and made with a thicker head.


Very often they using roofing nails or whatever found in the truck.


I agree with Joe, they look like common nails, or wrong nails.
That is a double shear joist hanger so they should have used 10d double dip galvanized nails in the hanger to ledger and 16d double dip in the ledger.


Ok, thanks guys. I appreciate the quick feedback

Corroded nails & joist hangers. Have qualified professional correct for safety.


I like your simplicity Larry, I know it was kind of a dumb question on my part to ask how to write it up.

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No problem, Drew…you’re welcome. :smiley:



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Would someone explain to me how your going to replace all those nails without reducing the strength of the deck when removing and replacing nails w/o replacing the whole deck (on a deck where the bracket is already supported by the ledger)?

Sounds to me your creating the potential catastrophic failure your client is already concerned about.

Why are you playing engineer when your just a Home Inspector. If they are concerned, they should hire the right person for the job (or buy a house without a deck). This is one of those times you should be recommending further evaluation by others, not giving out opinion.

Basically, corroded fasteners are a concern and they are corroded because they are the wrong nail. I really dont know what else to say about that. Its not my fault they used the wrong nail but they used the wrong nail and they will continue to corrode. So in my report I dont say simply replace all the nails, I said have evaluated by a qualified general contractor or deck builder, this is the same thing I told the potential buyer. Not calling it out would be the wrong thing to do

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Let me give it a try I’m pretty good at this.
Rust was noted at the joist hanger bracket fasteners. We recommend the rust be removed and a proper anti-corrosion material be used as to prolong the life of the fasteners.

That being said wire brushed son of a guns down wipe on some naval jelly clean it off and spray it was some Rust-Oleum.
However we don’t have to recommend nothing. Just point out the problem put it in a report and move on.

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A New Zealand study of hanger fasteners cited in deckbuilder dot com, “BRANZ Study Focuses on Fastener Corrosion,” found that nails deteriorate much faster in the new copper-rich CA preservative used on deck boards than with the older CCA. Nails with barely rusted heads may be almost completely corroded along the shafts with all that that implies.


That’s interesting. Around here the salt air will corrode anything. Even galvanized not too many years down the road. This cheap Chinese galvanized nails and screws they’re using now ain’t worth a crap. I’ve been on balconies three stories up where the railings were screwed in with galvanized screws 4 years old and they had rusted so bad they were not evening connecting the spindles nor was the railing properly. You lean on it you would fall.
American-made is the best way


Hey Roy, in the same boat here, I am in NJ and this house is a block away from the ocean and the bay on a barrier island same goes here, everything corrodes including vinyl coated aluminum trim and basically anything metal that’s outside. The ledger bolts were all galvanized on this property and still looked good the nails were shot though.

Yup. (as Roy would say) :wink:


Construction / structural screws? That would not be too difficult to do, one at a time.

hold the screw in place so you can “aim” and drill with one hand. You can’t do that with a Phillips head or a hex-head lag.

In fact, there are only two downsides to structural screws: cost and availability. GRK brand screws are the most expensive and are only available from professional lumberyards. Spax and FastenMaster brands are sold by home centers, but not all stores carry the complete line.

Installing a 5/16-in. screw with a battery-powered drill and no pilot hole is quite a claim. So I tested 5-in.-long screws from all three manufacturers (GRK, Spax and FastenMaster) to see if they really delivered. The GRK screw went in faster than the other two, but they all lived up to their billing. They really did zip right in. If you’re building or upgrading a deck and your local building inspector isn’t familiar with structural screws, call the “800” number of the screw manufacturer, whose engineers will satisfy the inspector’s concerns by providing all the testing and approval data to support their use in place of lags.

Structural Screw

These relatively new fastening solutions make quick work of just about any connection that relies on beefy screws.

  • Structural screws are so thin and sharp that you can skip any predrilling and get right to driving.
  • Structural screws meet stringent engineering standards. Hardened, high-quality, heat-treated steel means virtually no chance of shear-offs.
  • Home centers carry the most commonly used structural screw styles and sizes, but usually only one brand.
  • Structural screws aren’t cheap: they generally cost several times more than an equivalent lag screw.

Structural screw

Lag Bolts Screw

These old workhorses are labor intensive but readily available.

  • Lag bolts screws require you to predrill two holes: one for the threads and a larger clearance hole for the shaft.
  • Structurally rated lag bolts screws are available, but most home centers carry generic versions of varying quality.
  • All home centers carry a large assortment of lag bolts screw sizes.
  • Lag bolts screws cost a third of the price of structural screws.

Lag screw

Those ledger strips should have 3 16d nails under each joist