Prefabricated metal buildings are easier to design, erect, and care for than most competitive building materials in practically every way. But when issues do arise with steel buildings, or for any other type of building for that matter, it usually stems from the same issue: lack of proper care and maintenance. It’s easy to ignore a seemingly small issue, pushing it to the back burner until it becomes a much more noticeable problem.
In the design phase of your prefabricated metal building, there are choices you can make to put solutions to future problems in place preemptively. For example, it’s easy to say that insulation for your metal building is something that you can live without, especially if you’re trying to cut initial costs. If you’re using your kit to create a shed or other outbuilding that generally wouldn’t be climate-controlled, insulation might not be at the top of your list of must-haves.
“I’ll skip it for now. I can always get it later if I change my mind.” Famous last words.
Blanket insulation is the most highly recommended solution for prefabricated steel building kits, and good reason. It prevents steel-to-steel contact points within the structure of your building where a cold transfer could take place and create condensation. If you opt to “wait and see” if you need insulation or forgo it altogether, you could be creating a future moisture problem that would cost you an arm and a leg in time, materials, and labor.
Steel buildings are readily equipped with a variety of features that reduce maintenance and keep your long term costs low. They are notorious for their energy efficiency, design flexibility, and strength against a variety of weather conditions. But those features will only last if you make the decision from day one to keep your building in the best shape possible. Like any building owner, you should create a checklist of items to check for wear and tear regularly. Plus, be prepared for how you would deal with more extreme situations, like heavy snowfall.
Steel Building Maintenance Checklist
When using prefabricated steel buildings for your projects, like an antique car garage or a chic new she shed in your backyard, creating a space that is safe and structurally sound is a pretty important factor. You should never walk into your outbuilding, wondering, “Am I in danger because of neglectful steel structure maintenance?” It’s all too easy to take the important steps to keep your building safe and secure throughout the lifespan of your project. Similarly, steel buildings used for businesses require regular maintenance and upkeep to avoid possible injury and minimize liability.
Proper steel building maintenance starts immediately after construction. Here are a few things you should remember.
- Carefully clean the construction area. Whether your building is being used for business or pleasure, the area around the construction zone should be clean and neat before the building is ready for use. Metal shavings could remain on the roof and ground from boring holes. Give the area a thorough sweep, and make sure no ladders or other utensils remain leaned up against the building that could potentially fall or create unnecessary strain on the structure.
- Stay on top of landscaping. Bushes and hedges should be planted a safe distance from the structure and trimmed regularly to avoid contact with the outside of the building. While larger trees and bushes can compromise the foundation of your building, smaller foliage can still pose a substantial problem. Plants that grow against the side of the building will prevent air from passing through, gathering moisture that could lead to mold and fungus.
- Mind the weather. Prefabricated metal building kits are designed to withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions. But these features are designed to keep you safe and secure in an emergency. For example, if you live in colder climates, snow should be cleared from the roof to reduce stress on the structure whenever possible. Only clear the snow yourself if you are prepared with the proper equipment and know exactly how to avoid skylights and translucent roof panels. Be sure to push the snow past the gutter. Check carefully for buckles, leaks, and wet insulation.
- Clean the gutters. Drains and gutters are the best defense against future moisture issues, so it’s essential to keep them clear and functional. If you find that the same areas continue to be clogged, look around for tree limbs that could be causing the issue, then have them removed. Be mindful of smaller, less obvious particles that could be causing a clog. A power washer will help blast those away.
- Inspect doors and windows. Rolling garage doors are especially susceptible to a weak seal.
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