As you hunt for a new front door, you find a lot of options-sidelights, hardware, and style. But one of the most fundamental choices you must make is material. You see many doors featuring galvanized steel. Their descriptions boast unparalleled durability and cost economy.
But what is galvanization? Why does a door manufacturer use it over another material? And why should you choose it over the other options you have. In this blog, you’ll see the process of galvanization and learn the top 10 reasons why it beats the competition.
What Is Galvanization?
The term “galvanization” refers to the process of applying a protective coat of zinc over iron or steel. Manufacturers apply this coating in several different ways, including:
Electrogalvanizing: Immersing the steel or iron in an electrolyte of zinc sulfate or cyanide.
Hot-dipping: Immersing the steel or iron in molten zinc.
Painting: Applying paint composed of zinc dust pigments to the steel or iron.
Sherardizing: Exposing the steel or iron to metallic zinc dust in an air-free enclosure and then heating the coatin g to bond it to the surface.
Spraying: Misting the steel or iron with molten zinc
Modern manufacturers primarily perform galvanization via electrogalvanizing or hot-dipping. Electrogalvanizing allows manufacturers to carefully control the thickness of the zinc coating. Hot-dipping results in thicker coats than electrogalvanizing achieves.
What Does Galvanization Accomplish?
Contractors use galvanized steel in a myriad of places-from the steel frames in new homes to corrugated metal roofing on commercial buildings. This material represents a strong investment for these reasons.
1. Automatically Protects Damaged Areas
Zinc creates what’s known as a “sacrificial layer” over the main structure. Even if the coating becomes damaged, it prevents structural problems. This occurs because zinc corrodes more quickly than the steel beneath it.
2. Costs Less
Uncoated steel doesn’t offer a practical solution to many residential construction needs. Manufacturers choose galvanizing over other types of steel treatment in part because it costs less. Even when galvanizing overtakes other coatings in initial cost, it still creates small expense in the long run (see “Requires Little or No Maintenance” below).
3. Enables Reuse
More and more homeowners search for ways they can improve the sustainability and eco-friendliness of their homes and practices. Many of these individuals opt for green building materials, which include galvanized steel products. Galvanized steel represents one of the most recyclable and reusable metals.
4. Lasts for a Long Time
In average conditions, galvanized steel lasts more than 70 years. Even extreme conditions, such as exposure to seawater, only marginally shorten the material’s usefulness. In residential applications, this means the door often withstands wear for the lifespan of the home.
5. Looks Aesthetically Pleasing
When applied smoothly on an even surface, zinc has a satiny appearance. This flat surface with a slight sheen creates an aesthetically pleasing image. Manufacturers or homeowners can also paint this surface to match individual style preferences.
6. Prevents Cosmetic Damage
While you can scratch or chip the zinc coating, it’s unlikely. The unique metallurgical structure created through galvanization resists most forms of damage. This means galvanized steel items, like doors, won’t experience damage in transit or during installation.
7. Protects the Door’s Entire Surface
Some steel coatings can’t effectively cover recesses and sharp corners due to their application techniques. Galvanization, however, coats the entire surface of each area, even hard-to-reach portions. This ensures that your entire door resists corrosion and other damage for as long as you have it.
8. Requires Little or No Maintenance
As a homeowner, you know the costs of maintaining your home can mount quickly. You may choose to install a galvanized steel do or because it requires no future maintenance. This means even if the door costs more than some other options, it will cost you less in the long run.
9. Resists Rust
The iron involved in steel production is highly vulnerable to oxidization, which causes rust. However, the zinc layered over it doesn’t rust so easily. The galvanization delays the process of normal rusting.
Over time, zinc also develops a patina that serves as another protective layer. The patina comes from the zinc oxides, salts, and other compounds that naturally occur on the door’s surface.
10. Takes Little Time to Apply
All galvanization procedures take place indoors, even on large-scale industrial construction materials. This keeps inclement weather from delaying the manufacturing process. The two most common types of galvanization, hot-dipping and electrogalvanizing, take only a few minutes to complete.
This keeps costs and delays low for the manufacturer. These advantages transfer over to you, the buyer, when you choose galvanized products.
While you’re looking for a new door, consult with a window and door professional. He or she can assess your property and help you make the right decision for your home. When you speak with your trusted window and door professional, ask if galvanized steel is the right material for your door.