Texas weather is warming up, the trees are blossoming, and we are beginning to get some moisture. Many of us are coming out of hibernation mode as we spend more time outside, both working and playing. It is the time of year that we want to spruce up our homes and landscapes with a little Spring cleaning. As a steel building owner, your Spring cleaning routine should extend to your structure. This is the ideal time of year to perform regular maintenance on your building and inspect it for damage or other issues. Fortunately, the maintenance for steel buildings is minimal compared to other types of buildings. Here are a few Spring cleaning and maintenance tips.
Inspect the Structure
Often times, winter weather can be rough on a building. Ice and rain can cause damage to metal roofs so it is crucial to inspect for damage and leaks. In fact, you should search for leaks throughout the entire building because once the Spring rain starts coming, leaks could be disastrous. Areas around doors and windows should be inspected to make sure sealants, caulking and weather stripping are in good working order.
The steel building’s insulation should also be checked to make sure that it is not wet or damaged. Damaged insulation can easily lead to increased heating and cooling costs; and wet insulation can result in mold and mildew growth, harming the health of building occupants.
Check the steel metal building’s gutters and downspouts for leaves and debris that can clog the gutter and prevent water from moving out and down. Standing water can cause corrosion of adjacent building parts. Also, be sure to inspect the building’s ventilation components at this time as well.
Lastly, inspect the paint and exterior finish of your steel metal building. While unlikely, damage to a metal building’s exterior is possible. While traditional wood framed or brick buildings require the constant burden of repainting, the refinishing of steel metal buildings is a rare occurrence.
Repair the Damage
If you find any damage to your steel structure, it should be repaired as soon as possible. These problems tend to get worse with neglect and can be more expensive to repair down the road. If you do any repairs, particularly if you hire a contractor to perform the repairs, make sure to keep a record of it for the future. Records can be useful for answering questions about what work was done (if you plan to sell the building later), in meeting government regulations and for insurance claims.
The largest threat to your steel metal building is water, whether it is frozen, liquid or vaporized. All kinds of moisture can lead to mold growth, corrosion, warping and weakening. Any damage that occurs as a result of water needs to be repaired right away. Replace wet insulation, repair cracks and leaks, fix a leaky roof, etc. In addition, you need to make sure that any standing water or excess moisture is removed before sealing something up.
Clean the Building
When the weather is warm enough, you will be able to power wash (on a low setting) the exterior of the building to remove any dirt and debris that accumulated over the past year. Of course, you do not want to do this if there are still leaks. Removing dirt prevents stains and will help maintain the appearance of your building. Use a soft-bristled brush and a little elbow grease for tough spots.
Laundry detergent can also be added to the water for extra cleaning power. Use ⅓ cup for every 6 gallons of hot water, but always use a test spot on the building to ensure that whatever cleaning detergent that you use is right for your steel building.
Before washing the building, make sure to remove any outdoor furniture, close all doors and windows, cover plant beds and cover outdoor electrical components such as light fixtures and outlets. It is important to turn off the breakers that supply power to outdoor light switches and outlets when doing this. After you have finished, simply rinse the steel metal building facade to remove any excess detergent.
These simple Spring cleaning and maintenance steps will help keep your steel metal building looking attractive and performing efficiently for many years, even decades of profitable use. Contact DDM Buildings with the link below for more information or to get started on your Spring steel metal building project today!