A.Corresponding Editor Paul Fisette responds: All structural steel studs should be galvanized. When you build in a coastal environment, you should specify a grade called G-90. G-90 steel has a heavier zinc coating to provide extra protection in hostile environments.
Rust on a steel stud can be compared to rot on a wood stud. When a wall is properly constructed, there is little likelihood of a stud rusting to the point of failure. But it is important to use proper wall construction that shields the framing from exterior elements and minimizes the chance of condensation within the wall cavity.
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