Cold-formed steel framing may be subject to corrosion when exposed to moisture and salt, both of which are prevalent in coastal areas. The 2003 edition of this technical note, based on guidelines published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA 1986) for metal connectors used in wood-framed construction, described the cause of accelerated corrosion in buildings located near the ocean and some larger saltwater bays, as well as the variation in the corrosive environments within a typical building. The 2007 update incorporated the results of a corrosion study by Dr. Ian Robertson of the University of Hawaii Department of Civil Engineering, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (SFA 2006). The influence of terrain and wind direction on corrosion rates was added to the original document. This 2012 update includes revised referenced documents and improved guidance on the proper storage of materials.
This technical note outlines available corrosion-resistant materials for cold-formed steel framing members and makes recommendations for buildings at various distances from the ocean and for different exposure conditions within an individual building.