Metal buildings can be practical and cost-effective for residential and commercial property owners. They can serve a variety of purposes and offer many benefits. The low maintenance of metal structures is a primary advantage for many people. Still, there are necessary maintenance tasks that will help keep your building in top condition. Follow these metal building maintenance tips to protect and preserve your asset.
How to Care for Your Metal Building
Metal buildings are durable and long-lasting, but like any structure, they require routine care. Following a few simple maintenance tips will save time and money.
1. Perform Routine Inspections
Inspecting your metal building is essential. Finding and repairing problems before they worsen will save both time and money. Inspect your building at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall seasons. You’ll want to inspect it inside and out and repair any problems you find as soon as possible. It’s essential to check fasteners like screws, nuts, and rivets regularly. Rust usually starts at the edges of panels or where water can pool. It’s also important to check the foundation for signs of damage or weakening. Oil and lubricate hinges or tracks on doors and windows.
2. Keep It Clean
Keeping the surface of your building clean is essential to extend its performance and longevity. Allowing organic matter to build up on surfaces will promote the development of fungi and mold. Buildings should be cleaned annually to remove dust, dirt, pollen, and mildew. A power washer and clean water is generally all that is needed to remove normal buildup. If the interior of the building shows signs of dirt, mildew, or other contaminants, use a mild cleaning solution. When washing interior surfaces, wear protective gear and ventilate the building to keep cleaning solutions from irritating your eyes, skin, or lungs.
3. Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clear
Like any other building, the gutter system on your metal building will only work when it is clear of debris and free-flowing. Water is your enemy. Clean your gutters every spring and fall to ensure water moves away from your building and its foundation. Keep trees trimmed back to prevent excessive leaf and pine needle build-up in gutters. Regularly check to ensure that tree debris is not collecting on your roof.
4. Inspect Your Building’s Surroundings
Most maintenance issues are usually due to external forces, not the deterioration of the building itself. It’s essential to trim back large tree branches that overhang the roof. Keep shrubs and bushes from growing too close to the structure. It’s also important to check for ground settlement issues around your metal structure. If water is not properly draining away from your building, take steps to correct the problem.
5. Remove Heavy Snow
Snow and ice can exert incredible stress on a structure. If you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall, check your building’s maximum allowable snow roof amount. If your roof is reaching that threshold, it’s essential to plan for effective snow removal. When removing snow, use extreme caution. If you can’t safely remove the snow on your own, hire a professional to handle the job.
6. Repaint With the Right Coating
While metal buildings are highly durable, there may be instances when heavy equipment such as forklifts causes dents or scratches to the structure. These areas are where corrosion originates and can spread to compromise the building. Even a minor scratch should be retouched to prevent rust and mold from forming. When it’s time to repaint, make sure the correct coatings are used to resist environmental forces.
Following these metal building maintenance tips will help protect your investment and help your building look its best. Unfortunately, there are times when a building is damaged and needs repairs.
What To Do If Your Metal Building Needs Repairs
Severe weather is a fact of life in the Midwest. Between hail, high winds, thunderstorms, and tornadoes, naturally occurring events have the potential to damage a metal building. If your building has been damaged, it’s essential to ensure it is properly repaired.
If your building has been damaged, follow these steps:
Evaluate the Damage. The first step is to determine the extent of the damage. In most cases, severe weather or flying debris will only cause minor dents or scrapes, but strong winds have the potential to cause more damage. Check the entire structure, both inside and out, for any signs of damage.
Document the Damage. It’s always wise to take photos or videos of any damage done to your property. You will likely need it for your insurance company, a contractor, or the building’s manufacturer. Sometimes photos can help determine the extent of the damage and speed up a claims process.
Check With Your Insurance Agent. Many insurance policies cover damage to exterior buildings or carports. Check your policy and talk to your insurance agent to determine if your insurance will help cover the cost of repairs. If you have metal buildings used for farming or commercial purposes, make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered on your insurance policy.
Get Written Quotes. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover your metal building, getting several quotes before signing off on repairs is essential. It’s important to thoroughly read each quote and vet the contractor you choose to make repairs.
Repair Your Building. Minor repairs will be pretty quick and painless, especially if you use the same contractor that built your building. Most contractors guarantee the parts and workmanship for a specific period. If your building has more severe damage, your insurance adjuster and an experienced contractor will be able to advise you on how to proceed.
Why Choose RT Construction?
RT Construction has completed residential and commercial projects in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas with precision and quality for over 25 years. RT Construction has the expertise and experience to handle metal building structures. We have an in-house design team who will be happy to help you tailor the design of your custom metal building to look and function the way you need. RT Construction is licensed, insured, and bonded for your protection. Contact us online or call 636-317-5636 to schedule an inspection and free estimate.