Frequently Asked Questions about Screws, Anchors and other Fasteners
What is Electrolysis?
Electrolysis is caused by two dissimilar metals touching in an aggressive environment, producing the potential for electrical current (e.g., static electricity). The material that is least resistant to corrosion will oxidize and the more resistant material is susceptible to an electrochemical reaction (aluminum in most cases). This is also regarded as "corrosion". Thus electrolysis can result in corrosion to both metals.
For more a more detailed answer, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion
What size bit do I use to install BLUE-TAP concrete screws?
Use a 3/16" bit for a 1/4" screw. Use a 5/32" bit for a 3/16" screw. This is a pilot hole, smaller than the screw. As the BLUE-TAP is installed, it cuts threads into the material. This gives it superior holding power.
How deep do I drill the pilot hole?
The pilot hole should be 1/4" deeper than the BLUE-TAP.
Can BLUE-TAP concrete screws be removed?
Yes, BLUE-TAP concrete screws are reversible and removable. Simply reverse the concrete fastener and it will back out of the hole.
Do I need to drill a new hole or can I put a concrete screw back into the same hole?
In most materials, it is best to drill a new pilot hole and drive a new BLUE-TAP. If you use the same hole, holding power is substantially lowered. If you must use the same hole, use a substantially longer screw, where possible.
Can BLUE-TAP concrete fasteners be used in pressure-treated lumber?
Pressure treated lumber used to be made with arsenic. Lumber is now treated with Alkaline Copper Quartenary (ACQ). ACQ treated lumber has a very high level of copper. Copper is extremely conductive. This makes it extremely corrosive to metal fasteners, nails and screws.
BLUE-TAP concrete screws with ceramic coating are ACQ approved for use in fastening Pressure treated Alkaline Copper Quartenary ACQ treated lumber to concrete and other masonry.
Are BLUE-TAP concrete fasteners Miami Dade approved?
Yes, BLUE-TAP Concrete Anchors are approved and comply with the Florida Building Code, including the High Velocity Hurricane Zone.
BLUE-TAP Concrete Anchors bear the Miami-Dade County Product Control approval stamp with the Notice of Acceptance (NOA) number 17-1016.28
Approved December 31, 2014 by the Miami-Dade County Product Control Division.
BLUE-TAP Concrete Anchors have been reviewed by Miami-Dade County Product Control Division and accepted by the Board of Rules and Appeals (BORA) to be used in Miami Dade County and other areas where allowed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).
Miami-Dade County, Florida 0617.02 Exp: October 07, 2019
How deep do I need to install a BLUE-TAP concrete screw?
Be sure you are at least 2" into the concrete or other material.
What length BLUE-TAP masonry screw should I use to fastening a 3/4" sheet of ACQ pressure treated wood to concrete?
Use a 1/4" x 2-1/4" flat head BLUE-TAP concrete screw.
What is the difference between BLUE-TAP masonry anchors and the other leading brands that I am used to using?
BLUE-TAP has been used in Europe for 20 years and is now being introduced to the USA. BLUE-TAP has gained Miami-Dade product control approval for the most recent testing. BLUE-TAP has a custom washer head designed to fit the PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System perfectly.
Can we use the countersink (or Philips head) BLUE-TAP's with the PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System?
No, the countersink design does not provide enough holding power for the sleeve and washer.
What are the PRO-TECT and NYLO-TEC products for?
PRO-TECT separates the fastener from the structural member without compromising integrity and is designed to be used wherever electrolysis is predominate (e.g. screen enclosure, green houses, etc.). NYLO-TEC can be used anywhere where you would be installing a self-drilling screw. For a full explanation about how it is used in the screen enclosure, click the video link here.
Why is the PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System necessary?
Aren't the screws coated to prevent rust?
The PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System not only helps to prevent rust, but it also eliminates electrolysis (see more FAQ's for details). Carbon Steel fasteners (the base for many fasteners) are preferred because of their high strength, durability, and price. There are many types of coatings used to protect fasteners, but regardless of how good the coating is, it will be damaged when the screw is being installed. The damaged coating exposes the steel to the elements, thus allowing corrosion to eat away the fastener.
What do I need to install the PRO-TECT System?
You will need the following items to complete the removal of the old screws and installation of the new ones: (please keep in mind that there may be some exceptions)
- Drill (preferably a hammer drill with a clutch or an impact drill)
- 5/16" drive bit (to remove the old screws and install BLUE-TAP anchors)
- PRO-TECT Auger (to re-drill hole and drill larger hole in aluminum)
- PRO-TECT sleeves*
- BLUE-TAP masonry anchor (should be same diameter but at least 1/2" longer than existing screw)
- PRO-TECT cap
*It is recommended, but not necessary, to put a small amount of silicone into the PRO-TECT sleeve to ensure a completely sealed fastener, which should increase the longevity of your fastener even more.
What size screw do I use with the PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System?
The diameter of your screw will be 1/4". For the length, however, pick the size that matches the length of your existing fastener and add a minimum of 1". The fastener must be embedded at least 2" into a sound structural member.
What do I do if my old screw breaks during removal?
The PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System was designed in such a way that enables you to use it even if the old fastener breaks. Drill right next to the existing screw that has snapped. The PRO-TECT sleeve and cap will cover the old hole. For a demonstration, click here.
Do I need to purchase the PRO-TECT arbor to use the PRO-TECT fastener protection anchor, sleeve, and cap?
Yes, the auger was designed to make it a one step tool. Once you back out the old screw you will simply re-drill the hole with the auger tool. When you re-drill, it does two things. First, it makes the hole a bit deeper so that you can use a slightly longer BLUE-TAP to provide a structurally sound member. Second, it drills a perfect hole in the top of the aluminum to allow the PRO-TECT sleeve to fit properly. Florida Fasteners Direct, LLC recommends that you only use BLUE-TAP and PRO-TECT products with the PRO-TECT System.
Can I use other masonry anchors with the PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System?
No. BLUE-TAP masonry anchors were designed with a specific size washer head. The larger washer head is designed to work with the PRO-TECT sleeve and washer to produce optimum results. Our competitors’ anchors have either a smaller washer head (which has the potential of pull-out problems), or a larger washer head (which is too big to fit into the sleeve's design). Additionally, we can offer our quality product line at an inexpensive price because you are ordering direct from the manufacturer.
Can I use the PRO-TECT Fastener Protection System on anything other than aluminum screen enclosures?
While the PRO-TECT sleeve was designed specifically for a 1" thick structural member (such as a screen enclosure), the PRO-TECT washer was not. The PRO-TECT washer can be used in any application where you wish to hide the concrete anchor from view. Simply slip the PRO-TECT washer on the screw, drive it in, and then install the PRO-TECT cap. Keep checking our website too. We are currently designing other applications and products for this System.
What are the PRO-TECT washers for?
The PRO-TECT washers are simply designed for any application where you will be using a concrete anchor and you don't want the head to show, or be exposed to the elements.
I have used fasteners with caps before and they always fall off. Will your PRO-TECT caps fall off too?
Our PRO-TECT sleeve and cap design are designed to actually snap on and stay in place. In fact, they are designed to stay put even under severe pressure, such as a pressure washer and hurricanes.
What colors are available for the PRO-TECT caps?
We currently offer bronze and white to match the two standard aluminum colors. If you have need for alternate colors, please contact us at 1-877-803-6151. We may be able to fill your custom order needs depending on quantity and time frame.
Will the NYLO-TEC and PRO-TECT products hold up under intense heat and sunlight?
Both the NYLO-TEC and PRO-TECT lines were produced to resist fading and endure harsh environmental conditions.
What are the PRO-TECT and NYLO-TEC products for?
PRO-TECT separates the fastener from the structural member without compromising integrity and is designed to be used wherever electrolysis is predominate (e.g. screen enclosure, green houses, etc.). NYLO-TEC can be used anywhere where you would be installing a self-drilling screw.
Your NYLO-TEC screws look really interesting but I am concerned. Will the head come off during installation or removal?
We have been asked this question a lot. First, this is not a new idea. The Nylon headed screw has been used in Europe for over 20 years, and has been proven as an effective product and the fastener of choice. We have also made a video of a drilling test with our NYLO-TEC that should alleviate your concerns (see link below). Without question, these fasteners are tough. If they are used as intended, and with the proper equipment, you should have no problems. For best results, we have found that an impact driver is the best tool. If you do not own one, a drill with a clutch will also work just fine.
How do I know what size NYLO-TEC I will need?
We always recommend pulling out one fastener from a couple of different locations that you want to replace. These screws which connect the aluminum pieces typically range from a #10, #12, or #14 gauge (this is the diameter or thickness). The length is typically anywhere from 3/4" to 4." When choosing the NYLO-TEC, you will always want to go one size larger in diameter, this will allow a new bite in the aluminum. Otherwise, the same size will likely spin in the existing hole. The difference in gauges is only about 2/100 of an inch, so it can be very difficult to tell them apart by appearance or even with a measuring tape. It is suggested to bring them to any hardware store and they will have the ability to size them for you.
Common Hex Head sizes:
-1/4 Hex Head (Typically means it is a #10)
-5/16 Hex Head (Typically means it is a #12)
-3/8 Hex Head (Typically means it is a #14)
Please note the hex head size is not always indicative of the diameters listed above.
What size driver do I use for the NYLO-TEC?
The NYLO-TEC head is the same size for every gauge and length, this makes installation quick and painless. For a limited time, our Bi-Hex Driver is included with any first-time NYLO-TEC purchases.
What are the NYLO-TEC heads made of?
The heads are made of glass-reinforced nylon with added UV protection.
Why are the NYLO-TEC shanks different colors?
All of our NYLO-TEC are ceramic coated, the color difference is merely to easily identify the size:
Red is #12
Blue is #14
Green is #16
Yellow is #18
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