Are Drywall Screws Rust Resistant? All You Need To Know!

It’s frustrating when you’re in the middle of a project, and your screws start to rust. It’s not only annoying but can also be dangerous. But what about Drywall screws? Are they rust-resistant? Or would you need a different type of screw?

Drywall screws are not rust resistant. You may coat them, and this may greatly reduce rusting, but you won’t be able to make them rust-resistant entirely. If you want to use antirust screws, you should opt for Black screws or Alloy Screws.

It happens a lot. You’ve started with a project, but something came in between, and you could only continue many months later. Now you’re wondering if the Drywall screws have rusted over time, making them basically useless but also dangerous. 

Can Drywalls Screws Rust?

Yes, drywall screws can rust if certain conditions are met rust is a natural process that affects all types of metals, and it occurs when the metal comes in contact with water and oxygen. You may have your basement that’s overflooded, and your drywall has been wet for a prolonged time. Since Drywall screws are made of metals, they deteriorate and begin to rust when they are exposed to moisture over an extended period. 

So rusted drywall screws are common and may no longer be able to hold heavy items and be as firm as they once were if left that way. This is because they have become weak and loose. 

Here are some of the reasons why your drywall screws may start rusting.

Phosphate: Drywall screws may contain phosphate, which is a coating with rust resistance, but it only limits rusting but cannot prevent it. If the coating on the screws strip during installation, the metal is left exposed, which can hasten corrosion.

Plaster exposure: Drywall screws are also known to rust under plaster. Remember that as you drive the screws into the joist or stud, the driver may strip the screws of the phosphate covering. Once moisture comes in contact with the exposed part, rusting is inevitable, and plaster contains water.

Can You Make Drywall Screws Rust-Proof?

Yes, you can. While it is impossible to protect your drywall screws completely from rusting, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of rust, and here’s how. 

Moisture protection: You can protect the screws by protecting them from moisture using sealants and coatings. There are specially formulated rust-resistant coatings that work quite well. Remember, if you’ve installed them, they still partially rust, so you’d need to coat them before you install them into the studs. 

Antirust solutions: Some commercial antirust solutions may be able to protect screws and other metal-based items from corrosion. They come in different forms like sprays and lacquers and contain an essential ingredient called Zinc. Zinc has antirust properties; when mixed with graphite powder, it protects metals. 

Use Alloy Screws: Even though this is not helping with rust, it’s a great alternative nevertheless. If you don’t want to spend extra cash on antirust materials, you should opt for alloy screws. Alloy is made by combining different metals like aluminum and magnesium. It’s known that alloy metal does not rust easily due to its foolproof properties. 

Alloy screws are either precoated with Zinc or tin, and some even have chrome exteriors. Although they are more expensive, they rarely rust and are ideal for commercial and industrial settings with moisture exposure.

Painting: Another way to prevent your screws from rusting is to paint them. Paint is not a permanent solution but can serve as a temporary barrier. If you paint yours to match the color of the drywall or the room, it will not be obvious. 

Conduct regular checks: Make it a habit to conduct regular checks every year or twice yearly to ensure that none of your screws are exposed. This is even more important during winter or if you leave your AC on for hours all the time as we often do during summer months. The same should be done for drywalls installed outdoors. If you notice any exposed screws, do well to coat them with a protective sealant. Doing this regularly will prevent rusting.

Nail varnish: Nail varnish is another material you can use to protect your drywall screws. The best varnishes are the clear enamel ones that have anti-moisture sealants. They are less noticeable and will not obstruct your design. The nail varnish contains mineral oil and wax, which are very effective against corrosion.

What Kind Of Screws Will Not Rust?

The type of non-rusting screws falls into two main categories. Screws are cast with special coats, sealants, and metals that don’t rust at all or easily.

Alloy screw: Alloy screws will not rust because they contain Zinc, a natural anti-corrosive agent. 

Tin screws: Screws made of tin will not rust; even if they will, it will take a very long time. Screws made of tin are mostly used for industrial projects.

Black screws: Black drywall screws are special screws made for drywalls. They have protective phosphate covering with a coarse thread, but they may rust over time if they lose their coating. However, if their coatings stay in place during installation, they will not rust.

Silver screws: Silver screws are also a good option because they are corrosion-resistant. They have zinc coats that insulate the metals from moisture.

Deck screws: even though this option is not that popular, it’s still a good option for outside-of-the-house projects. These are coated copper screws and are much more weather and corrosion-resistant. There are some significant differences between Drywall screws and Deck screws, but it’s a considerable alternative.

The best drywall screws to use will depend on what your project requires. If you are dealing with an area with high moisture exposure, you should use zinc or alloy screws, which are far more moisture-resistant than any other option. Also, consider the studs too. If you are using a metal stud, you need durable screws that will not react negatively to the studs.

If you don’t want to use screws for your drywall, there are some alternative fasteners you can use, but that should depend on the weight and thickness of the drywall in question. Here are some alternatives to consider.

Toggle bolts: You may use toggle bolts to hold the drywall in place, but these bolts are not ideal for heavy 5/8-inch drywall. Only use them for light drywalls like the ¼ or ½-inch types.

Toggle Anchor: Another option is to use Toggle anchors. Toggle anchors are better for heavier drywalls and can break through concrete and wood. Concrete anchors are another alternative if you don’t want to use joists or studs.


Do Zinc Drywall Screws Rust?

No, they do not unless under harsh circumstances. Zinc drywall screws have anti-corrosion properties; they reduce rusting to the barest minimum. However, you need to implement other moisture prevention measures for extra protection. 

Do Phosphate Drywall Screws Rust?

Phosphate drywall screws don’t rust unless under one condition. During installation, the coating may chip as you screw it into the stud with your screwdriver. This exposed part may develop rust over time. As a preventive measure, you should consider coating the screw head with a sealant afterward with the aid of a paintbrush. If you use a sealant to cover the exposed part, the screw will not rust.

Are All Drywall Screws Rust Resistant?

No, they are not. This is because screws are made of metal, and all metals rust when exposed to moisture and oxygen. While rust-resistant coats can protect them from corrosion, they cannot completely prevent them from rusting. To protect your screws from rusting, you must implement other anti-corrosion measures like protecting exposed parts with extra sealants.

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