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How Long Do Steel Buildings Last?

March 5, 2021

Did you know that buildings have a “life expectancy?” If you are going to build a new structure on your property, then make sure that you are investing in a design and the right type of materials that will stand the test of time. Whether it’s a small shed or large manufacturing plant, the building must hold up against weather conditions and other factors that can cause wear and tear.

Why bother putting time and money into the construction of a building if it will only last a few years? During the design process, evaluate how the building will be used which will help you determine the right materials to ensure steel building longevity.

Your choice of materials is one of the key factors that will affect the lifespan of the building. As you are finalizing design details, compare the durability and maintenance requirements for steel buildings, plastic sheds, wood buildings, and more.

Longevity of Steel Buildings

How long do steel buildings last? A well-built structure with quality materials can easily last more than 50 years, depending on the use of the building over time. If you want to ensure the lifespan of the building, then it’s essential to choose quality materials that withstand seasonal damage.

Steel is an excellent choice for building materials if quality and durability are your priority. But, not all steel buildings are created equal. Consider these factors that can affect how long steel buildings last:

  • Design: A well-built steel building helps to minimize wear and tear. For example, when the building includes features that manage water flow and protect the building joints, it’s likely that the steel building will have a longer lifespan compared to a building with poor design. How long do prefab buildings last? With a good design, they can hold up just as long as a custom-designed building.
  • Use: If you are rough on the building, you can expect wear and tear to show more quickly. Manufacturing with chemicals inside the building can take a toll over time because of the corrosion that can affect the steel. However, if you’re only using your steel building as a storage shed, for example, your building will last longer than manufacturing buildings because there isn’t as much wear on the steel.
  • Location: Local climate patterns can affect the durability of the building. For example, areas with heavy snowfall require extra maintenance because of the weight of the snow on the roof. Also, steel frame buildings in coastal climates can wear out more quickly because of the air’s humidity and salt. Heavy industrialization in the area can take a toll on the building due to the high levels of pollutants in the air.
  • Maintenance: Steel doesn’t require a lot of care compared to other building materials. But it’s important to stay consistent with occasional maintenance-related tasks to extend the life of the building. Without occasional cleaning, maintenance, and repair work, damage to the building can occur because of rust, mold, and corrosion.

The optimal approach to ensure the durability of your building is to talk to a steel building expert about your goals. Our team can provide recommendations to ensure that your new building performs as needed.

How to Maintain a Steel Building

Inspect the building regularly to identify areas that require maintenance or repair work. Maintenance requirements vary depending on location because seasonal changes can play a role in the building’s durability. Consider these common recommendations for steel building maintenance:

  • Wall Pressure: Find anything that might be touching the walls of the building. You want to avoid unnecessary weight that might strain the building, such as equipment leaning against the wall.
  • Wall Contact: Avoiding undue contact is essential to prevent water from staying on the surface of steel buildings. Moisture is one of the most significant vulnerabilities that threaten the durability of the steel. Clean up the landscaping and other things that are coming in contact with the steel building.
Advantages of Pre-engineered Steel Buildings - Continuous Savings
  • Roof Limitations: Know the roof limitations so you know when snow needs to be cleared. If you think that the roof is reaching the weight threshold because of accumulated snow, then have a plan in place to clear the snow safely. It’s a good idea to check the roof during the warmer months as well because a buildup of muck and leaves in the rain gutters can cause undue wear and tear.
  • Regular Cleaning: Avoid rust and corrosion on steel buildings by cleaning off the grime and dirt that accumulates. Washing the steel panels regularly will keep the materials in top-notch condition. You can buy industrial cleaners designed for steel buildings or create a homemade solution using water and ammonia. Steel buildings should be cleaned every few months, inside and out. Ideally, your building should be washed a minimum of once a year to remove substances that could cause harm to the building.
  • Fresh Paint: One way to protect the building is by adding a fresh coat of paint. After the steel panels are washed thoroughly, add a quality exterior paint to act as an extra layer of protection against the weather elements.
  • Repair Work: Scratches and scuffs might seem like minor issues, but these points of damage can become weak points in the building. When the damage is continuously exposed to the weather, it can lead to corrosion and rust. Buff out the marks and be proactive about repairing any areas of damage.

Minor problems can start creeping in, which is why you need to be proactive with repairs and maintenance. These seemingly small tasks can go a long way to add years to the life of your building.

Steel Building Warranty

When you choose quality building materials, you can know that the building will stand firm for many years. Many manufacturers of steel buildings offer solid warranty coverage, including 40- and even 50-year structural warranties (depending on the type of building you construct).

This written guarantee ensures that if anything goes wrong with the materials, then repair or replacement is offered within a specific timeframe. Keep in mind that the warranty doesn’t necessarily last for the lifetime of the product and won’t cover every issue. Read about the available warranty when deciding on the type of steel building you’d like to construct.

At Norsteel Buildings, we’re committed to providing our clients with the best solutions in the steel building industry. If you’d like to learn more, then contact us to talk to an industry expert. We pair you with a building consultant for personalized recommendations about the specific products and materials that will best suit your needs. We’re proud to be a leader in the steel building industry: 1-866-971-7575.

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