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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I've had a read of "Skeletons under your van floor?" thread and decided to check out my van. I made all the ply lining myself over a year ago.
    I used drywall screws to fix the ply to the van. In the floor area the screws penetrate the van floor and are exposed to the elements outside.
    Now I never bothered to treat the exposed screws (I bought the bloody Hamerite and all but never used it ).

    I took out a few screws to check them. They have some rust on the surface. They are the black drywall screws from B&Q (Like this I was told these are the guys for the job from someone who has done a lot of van conversions.
    I cannot see any rust on the underside of the van. I'd have to take up the floor (sealant and all) to have a proper look.

    A friend suggested remove the screws, drill slightly larger holes (to drill out any potential rust), replace with non-rust screws, treat with Hammerite. A sound plan?

    Non-rust screws - what is the best kind? I understood these drywall screws have a protective coating. Should I try to get stainless steel screws?
    Would drilling larger holes be beneficial?
    Is Hammerite the best way to coat the screw after, should I also Hammerite the drilled holes?

    I'd like to nip any rust before its a problem.

    Peter image

  2. #2
    Senior Member peter b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Leicester Sur Mer


    Stainless steel is best.
    Bright Zinc Plated (BZP) is pretty good so long as the plating holds out.
    Brass can be used for light duty.
    Black oxidised (or 'self-colour' ) are to be avoided.

    Here to share the love.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NeilT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Yep go with the stainless or brass options. Any salt that gets in will always be damp (its hygroscopic) so there is always good contact for any corrosion to take place.

    And steel screws rust like a good'un with salt - especially if you temporarily use them for your footstraps and then completely forgot you'd put them there. What numpty would do that?

  4. #4


    Or outdoor decking screws. Although you may have trouble finding them in a short enough length.
    Main boards: Flare 101, NuEvo 86, UltraKode 80, Reactor 82, NuEvo 73. Powered by Severne Blades and S1s.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by basher
    Or outdoor decking screws. Although you may have trouble finding them in a short enough length.
    Outdoor decking screws work well if they're not subject to lots of salt water.

    I'm in the process of replacing eyebolts and eyescrews (for bungee and rope tiedowns) in my van. Most of this hardware is 4-5 years old (not stainless). Any of the pieces near the board and sail storage are now showing considerable rot...I should have spent the extra money for stainless in the first place.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Stainless is the only way to go but the floor of your van is still mild steel and needs some protection where there is an open edge/drilled hole. You won't need to increase the hole width/screw size if you get the right size stainless screws. Beware as stainless screw heads can be a bit prone to shearing if you overtightent then or try to force a large screw into a small hole.

    Best thing for these holes as they have already been contaminated is a bit of Ku Rust - rust killer, it oxidizes the rust turning it black, then apply a layer of zinc paint - paint or spray on. Then a top coat of something that is a bit tougher like an polyurethane multi purpose paint - the polyurethane means it won't chip if hit by bits of stone chip etc. It'll last for years then.

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