Despite some exaggerated claims to the contrary, steel that is protected by red-oxide primer is a better product than galvanized steel for the vast majority of builders. That is why “red iron” is used in most commercial construction – from sheds to skyscrapers. Galvanizing may be useful in extraordinarily corrosive environments (chemical plants for example), but it can cause more problems than it solves in normal circumstances. It is expensive, and it turns a highly-versatile metal into a very unforgiving material. Galvanized steel cannot be painted, it cannot be bent without cracking the finish, and it cannot be welded without producing deadly fumes, not to mention a very ugly scar in the metal. It is also extremely abrasive and must be handled with heavy gloves. Though it is resistant to red rust, galvanized steel will develop white rust with prolonged exposure to moisture.
The water-based, environmentally friendly red-oxide primer is designed to protect the steel before it is erected. When properly applied, it holds up against all but the worst abuse (like allowing water to pool for weeks on un-erected parts). Some manufacturers just spray-paint manufactured components, but MBMI cold-formed steel is always fully prepped and primed before being fabricated, and the red-oxide coat is baked on our frames. As a result, any exposed red iron inside your building will look good for years, and you can finish it out to look even better.