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One of the benefits to owning a steel building is the ease of maintaining your structure. Because of their durability and ability to withstand the elements steel structures need very little maintenance and few repairs. If you invest a little time into properly taking care of your building it will easily withstand the test of time. There are a few maintenance tips you should be aware of to help keep your building looking and functioning at its best, both during construction and in the years to follow. When deciding how to best maintain your building you should also be aware of all applicable local, state and federal laws that apply to building maintenance and renovation. Visit the OSHA website, and your local government’s site to read up on all maintenance and renovation codes before you begin.
While most prefabricated steel storage building kits are easy to put together, construction can still take several days. It is important to be aware of how to best maintain your steel building while beginning the initial construction so that your building is erected properly and the proper preventative maintenance takes place.
Hire a Contractor or Manual Laborer if Necessary
Steel building kits will come delivered in separate pieces, most all manufacturers fail to provide equipment or manpower to help unload or move the pieces of your steel kit. As the owner it is up to you to make these arrangements to ensure the pieces your steel building can be easily moved to the construction site and pieces are not damaged in the moving process.
Make Sure all Pieces are Accounted for and in Good Condition
As you unload the pieces to your steel building it is important to make sure that pieces are accounted for, a missing piece, no matter how small, will compromise the overall stability and longevity of your building. Each shipment should come with a master inventory list from the manufacturer. Make sure you receive this list from the delivery crew upon arrival and use it to cross-check all pieces have arrived as your building is being unloaded, as some kits such as garage buildings, come with many pieces. Also, make sure to go through and thoroughly inspect each piece upon arrival. After items are taken off the truck most manufacturers have a very small window of time in which faulty parts can be replaced penalty free. The further along in the building process you are the harder it is to remove and replace individual pieces.
Check the Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important components for maintaining a proper temperature within your steel building. Damaged or weakened insulation can allow harmful moisture to build up in your steel structure, as well dramatically decreasing the effectiveness of your building’s cooling and heating system driving up energy costs. Insulation that is wet, torn or damaged in any way will allow moisture to seep into your building and condense in the insulation decreasing its effectiveness and also potentially causing rust buildup. More Options for Steel or Metal Building Insulation.
Properly Store Materials
Throughout the construction process, it is important to make sure that all project pieces and tools are properly stored and cared for. If you live in an area prone to rain, extreme heat or unpredictable weather conditions make sure all building pieces and insulation are fully covered and secured from unwanted movement.
Tips for Maintaining your Steel Building After Construction
Once your structure is built it is important to establish a maintenance schedule to routinely check for damage, make repairs if necessary and keep your structure clean.
Perform Bi-annual Maintenance Checks
From the beginning establish a maintenance schedule along with maintenance records. Perform these check twice a year, or after any additional construction, renovations or extremely severe weather. Create an organized system for maintenance records, recording the dates of inspections, any repairs made and all warranty and assembly information. Adding additional information, such as photos of renovation work or repairs, and the names and contact information for all contractors and workers will be helpful if you ever have a question or issue with a previous repair. This information may also be required to meet government safety regulations.
Protect your Building from Precipitation
Excessive buildup of snow or rain on or around your steel building can potentially damage the foundation and the structure. Prolonged exposure to moisture can create rust buildup, cause shifts the foundation, or actually damage and bend your buildings panels if the weight of the buildup is heavy enough. It’s important to redirect as much precipitation as possible away from your building. Arched buildings, like the Quonset hut, or buildings with slanted roofs will naturally allow for rain and snow to run off the top of your building, but the sides and foundation of your building are still exposed. If you live in an area with heavy precipitation consider adding gutter and downspouts to your structure. A well-constructed drainage system can easily direct heavy water flow away from the foundation of your building. If large amounts of water still pool around the base of your building, consider landscaping or altering the terrain around your building to ensure water properly drains a safe distance away.
Immediately make Minor Repairs
While a small hole in steel panel or crack in the paint may not seem that harmful it is important to make these minor repairs as soon as any damage is spotted. Water can find its way into these openings and heat and prolonged exposure to the elements can quickly magnify the size of any weakness in your building’s surface. Be sure to fill all holes, and use primer and paint to repair scratches. Repair minor scratches in your translucent skylight panels with a thick coat of refinisher.
Wash your Building Annually
Washing your building routinely prevents the buildup of fungus or other harmful blemishes on your building’s surface. Mix any type of gentle household cleaning product, or ammonia, with warm water and use the mixture to remove dirt with a soft-bristled brush or low-pressure power washer. If something a little stronger is needed to remove mildew and fungus add a cup of bleach to the mixture.