Deck, Fence and Siding Fasteners

Pick the right type fasteners for your outdoor materials and projects

Deck, Fence and Siding Fasteners Buying Guide

Deck, fence and siding fasteners help secure wood and other materials that retain moisture. This moisture can seep into your fasteners, resulting in rust and corrosion for fasteners that are left unprotected.

Tip: Look for polymer-coated, galvanized or hot-dipped fasteners when working outdoors with lumber and other materials for decks, fences and siding.

Nails and Screws

Nails and screws that are for use outdoors must be able to withstand rain, snow, heat and cold.

  • Stainless steel and aluminum fasteners repel rust and last for long periods of time.
  • There are two types of stainless steel fasteners available, 304 and 316. 316 should be used in moist and humid climates, while 304 works best in dry climates.

The following chart details some of the different types of coatings used on fasteners

Coating Type Process Points to Consider


Electroplating is used to coat nails and screws with a thin layer of zinc.

  • Less expensive
  • Moderately effective
  • Often used in conjunction
    with pneumatic nail guns

Epoxy and Ceramic

Screws are coated with a thin layer of epoxy or ceramic.

  • Moderately priced
  • Offer reliable corrosion

Hot Galvanized

Heated fasteners are tumbled through zinc powder or zinc chips, which bond to the surface.

  • Less expensive
  • Coating is thin and may
    be somewhat inconsistent

Hot-Dipped Galvanized

Fasteners are bathed in molten zinc, which allows for a complete and thorough coating.

  • More expensive
  • Available with varying
    levels of thickness
  • Extremely effective


Outdoor fasteners feature different head and shank constructions used for varying applications.

  • Larger nail heads provide more striking area while smaller heads are best for finishing.
  • Spiral, threaded and ring shanks provide extra holding power.
  • Screws are available with square and Phillips heads that are less likely to strip.
  • Galvanized staples are good for attaching wire fencing to fence posts.
  • Galvanized soffit nails are good on the underside of a structure.

Installation Considerations

Choose fasteners that are nonmagnetic and resist rust and corrosion.

  • Magnetic nails can have adverse reactions with other nearby metals, so use them sparingly outdoors.
  • Consider drilling pilot holes before driving nails or screws, especially when driving close to the edge of the wood.
  • Temperature changes can cause some siding to expand and contract, so leave a little room between the head and siding to compensate for this movement.
  • Salty sea air speeds up the corrosion process, so take that into consideration near the coasts.
  • Blunt nails are harder to drive but less likely to split wood.
  • Nails can be blunted by tapping the points with a hammer.
  • Siding nails can be countersunk or hidden with a coat of paint.
  • Railing posts may require stronger fasteners, such as hex bolts or nuts and washers.