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bergerdude 10-25-2011 12:07 PM

Steel studs rust basement help
I've done some research on using steel studs for my basement and the opinions vary widely. I'm not concerned with opinions of what is easier to work with, but with the potential for rust.
Some say the galvanized studs won't rust, others say the screws damage the coating and the holes will rust out.
I like the fact that metal won't mold but what is the point if it rusts!?

I was going to use the steel on the perimeter in case of water infiltration, but now I'm thinking about using them on the interior only. This way I still get straight walls and can see the back of the wall if rust basement will consist of a main room and storage room only..

Will steel studs rust or not?


Arkitexas 10-25-2011 02:25 PM

Steel studs will rust in the presence of moisture, but under the same conditions wood will rot. If you have moisture present, correct that problem first. Then install wood or metal as you choose.


concretemasonry 10-25-2011 03:01 PM

Rusting of steel studs and connections is not anything new.

Once you cut, scratch or pierce the protective galvanizing coating, you can/will get rust and screws are good at that.

On commercial exterior walls proper flashing the way to keep most of the water away. For interiors, the conductivity of the studs increases condensation.

In a basement, it is almost impossible to keep the humidity real low and the surrounding and underlying soil is usually colder then the air, no matter what kind of insulation system you use.

If it is for a quick and cheap interior partition wall don't worry too much, since you will probably move before that.


Bud Cline 10-25-2011 03:56 PM

Those studs are going to out live you anyway why worry?:)

bergerdude 10-25-2011 11:07 PM

ive read they will rust out in five years, I hope I have that much time left at least! Lol

Bud Cline 10-26-2011 07:24 AM


ive read they will rust out in five years,
Now do you really think that is possible? Get serious my friend.:)
What kind of a mysterious monster house are you living in?

joed 10-26-2011 07:42 AM


Originally Posted by bergerdude (Post 756848)
ive read they will rust out in five years, I hope I have that much time left at least! Lol

Then you have a major water issue and the wood studs will rot out also. If you fix the water issue then it doesn't really matter which type you use.

bergerdude 10-28-2011 02:31 PM

Just to clarify....
I have a 5 yr old home, full basement with poured walls.
High water table, BUT No water infiltration.....just the typical basement and common humidity levels.

It sounds that normally steel studs would be ok then, but there is a lot of contradictory stuff out here in internet-land.

To be safe, couldn't that uses steel studs simply spray some primer on the cut ends and the screws....seems like an easy fix, and

I have had wall ties leaks, so if I cover the walls and that happens again I was thinking of using metal studs for the whole basement, but now I am leaning towards interior only.


Gary in WA 10-29-2011 12:28 PM

With a high water table, you will want a sill sealer under whatever you use for a bottom plate to stop any wicking moisture below the slab:

Many times any moisture is air-dried before it shows on a slab until covered with flooring material.......

Steel studs require a thicker galvanized coating due to the chemicals in the newer p.t. wood for a bottom plate, not at the box stores.


bergerdude 10-30-2011 10:30 AM

i just saw these, yet another option! Except they arent in my area yet.

Gary in WA 11-01-2011 11:41 PM

Nope, nor will I ever use them.
He said heat loss for basement is 30%, more like 20% according to the “Pink Panther”:
Anything for a scare, I guess.

He mentions replacing wood with his plastic stud = R-15----- the stud doesn’t come into the equation because the cavity is heated through the insulation anyway. There wouldn’t be a need for a thermal stud there anyway, not like an above grade outside wall, unless the stud was touching the cold concrete wall. (Yet he shows a gap between them in the picture).

As per code, basement walls require fire-stopping every 10’ lineally and at the top plate:

His plastic track at the top would not fire-stop the stud cavities from the joist cavities above as they are not listed as minimum fire-stopping materials:

I think a fire in the wall would quickly melt the top track to spread to the floor above, racing across the joist bay, exiting in the plumbing chase or attic above the second floor. I don’t see many Building Inspectors accepting them unless screwed to a continuous 2x top plate when installed perpendicular to floor joists above. I search their site for the plastics flame rating but it wasn’t there, try calling them if still interested.


bergerdude 11-03-2011 12:38 PM

The only concern about steel studs seems to be when the galvinized treatment is damaged....wouldn't a quick spray with rustoleum primer stop this from happening, or what am I missing?


Bud Cline 11-03-2011 01:09 PM

You guys are wa-a-a-a-y overthinking this.:)

bergerdude 11-03-2011 01:28 PM

I can't argue with you on that!

Oh Like I said, much contradictory information out there. true, that's a personal flaw of mine :) but when you have someone in another forum say steel lasts 5 years, and you imply they'll last a long time....just was trying to get as many opinions as I could.

I do appreciate your input.:yes:

Actually I just saw the rust in 5 years quote ON this very forum....

Steel studs / Basement Insulation
Steel studs are a no-no in basements. Will rust and will rust screws within 5 years. Transmit cold from behind...

And they will affect the type of electrical wiring you are allowed to use.

Bud Cline 11-03-2011 01:40 PM

Post #4.:yes:

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