Metal Building & Carport Anchors: Different Styles and When to Use Them

By Mark Hiatt   |   Posted In: Installations

carport anchors

Metal building buyers often wonder how their metal carport or other custom metal building will perform in the event of high winds or severe weather. Rather than spending time worrying about whether your new metal carport or metal building might fall over, you can provide needed support by leveraging the appropriate carport anchor for your foundation. Carport Central installs steel structures that are built to last, complete with appropriate anchoring systems to keep them standing strong for many years to come.

The Critical Role of Anchors in Metal Building Safety

Tube steel structures are designed to be strong and long-lasting, but any metal building is only as reliable as the anchors used to secure it. Anchors keep custom metal structures securely attached through all kinds of weather conditions. If your structure isn’t properly anchored to the ground, its strength and stability can be put at risk. The specific anchors you need mainly depend on the type of surface on which you install your carport or other custom metal building. Below are the primary categories of metal carport anchors, carport ground anchors, and metal building anchors, along with details about each.

Types of Anchors and Anchor Installation for Metal Structures

Wondering how to anchor a carport or other custom metal building? Read on to learn more about the anchors we use to secure steel structures at Carport Central.

Rebar Anchor

Rebar is used as ground stakes for everything from buildings to fences to landscaping. Carport Central leverages heavy-duty ½” x 36” rebar pin anchors to add strength and stability to our custom metal structures.

During installation, the metal building base rail is drilled with holes through which rebar anchors can be inserted and hammered into the ground. While rebar anchors do add strength and security, they also pose a potential risk of becoming dislodged during high wind and heavy rain events.

Some metal building providers will rely on rebar anchors alone for securing a steel structure to sturdy soil or asphalt. Carport Central, on the other hand, follows a higher standard. We never utilize rebar anchors by themselves, but rather use rebar anchors to fill in the spaces between helical auger anchors or barbed anchors.

Helical Auger Anchor

One of the beauties of choosing a custom metal building is the fact that a poured foundation isn’t required – you can also have your carport, barn, or other steel structure installed on plain, level ground if you prefer. Helical auger anchors (also known as mobile home anchors) are the best solution for securing a metal carport or other metal building to an unpaved soil foundation.

The helical auger design is similar to that of a large screw; the anchor is literally turned into the ground. First a pilot hole is drilled, and a metal rod or strong tool handle is then used to turn the auger anchor down until secure. Finally, the anchor is secured to the base rail with a ¾” diameter thru-bolt.

A helical auger anchor provides a very firm hold, and mounts the building securely to the ground. Another key advantage of choosing auger anchors for an unpaved ground site installation is that it enables your metal building to be certified for wind and/or snow load ratings. A building anchored to the ground with rebar alone cannot be certified.

Barbed Drive Anchor

Barbed drive anchors (also known as barbed mobile home anchors, cross-drive asphalt anchors, or simply asphalt anchors) are effective for securing metal buildings to both asphalt and rocky ground. Expansion bolts aren’t the best solution for asphalt, since asphalt is a softer material that’s more likely to crack under pressure. The extensions on the shaft of a barbed drive anchor serve to keep the structure more secure in both asphalt and rocky ground foundations.

Much like the process of installing a helical auger anchor, barbed drive anchors are turned into pilot holes until made secure, and then a ¾” diameter thru-bolt is used to secure the anchor to the building base rail. Barbed drive anchors are utilized for installation on 2.5” minimum thickness asphalt, along with installation on certain types of rocky soil.

Concrete Anchor

If you’re installing on a concrete base, rest assured that Carport Central uses anchors for metal buildings and carports that are specially made for use with concrete. Concrete expansion anchors (also known as concrete wedge anchors) are the best solution when working with concrete foundations. Holes are drilled into the base rail of the metal building, and then continued down into the concrete to a minimum depth of 3.75 inches. Finally, nuts with locking washers are placed on the ends of the bolts and tightened down.

The process of tightening causes the bolts to expand into the drilled holes. The pressure exerted on the walls of the concrete makes it very difficult for these expanded anchors to be dislodged. The length of the concrete anchors used can vary based on the particular foundation, but we typically use ½” x 7” expansion anchors in our installations.

Concrete is one of the best, most stable surfaces you can use for a metal building foundation, and Carport Central is proud to utilize anchors that are specially designed for use with concrete.

Metal Building Anchor Maintenance: Best Practices

Just as steel buildings are made to be long-lasting and worry-free, the anchors and fasteners we use to secure our carports and other structures should last you a very long time. Hot-dip galvanized steel fasteners are rated to last up to 60 years! Even so, easy-maintenance doesn’t mean no-maintenance. It’s a good idea to do a periodic walkaround and inspect all exposed features on your building, including fasteners and anchors.

Make sure your bolts, nuts, washers, and anchors are snug, still look to be in good shape, and aren’t loose, crooked, or missing. Any loose fasteners should be tightened, and any damaged or missing fasteners should be replaced immediately. Failure to address these issues can improperly skew the load distribution of the structure. In worst-case scenarios, damaged fasteners can compromise structural integrity and even contribute to building collapses.

The Right Anchor for the Right Foundation

Metal buildings offer a clear advantage over other types of construction, in that they can be installed on practically any level surface. That being said, it’s also important to be sure and use the right anchor for the right foundation. If you have particular concern about wind, snow, or other weather threats in your area, Carport Central can help you choose the best anchoring strategy for ensuring the stability and reliability of your custom steel structure for many years to come.

Got more questions about metal building anchors? Ready to get your perfect steel structure? Connect with one of our friendly, knowledgeable building specialists today at (980) 949-0394. We can help you get the perfect custom metal building solution to meet your needs AND your budget!


  • Mark Hiatt

    Mark Hiatt brings over 20 years of commercial construction experience as a licensed engineer in NC, SC, and VA. Design-and-build is his specialty, and he serves both as a structural engineer for American Building Network and as an engineering consultant for Carport Central.

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