Winter Maintenance Tips for Steel Buildings

Steel buildings present themselves as a sturdy and resilient option for anyone looking to build a commercial space or garage. They require a minimal amount of maintenance in comparison to other building structures and do not experience significant wear and tear in poor weather conditions.

Despite the strength of steel buildings, winter conditions require certain adjustments for all building types. Below is a discussion of steel building maintenance and some tips for keeping them in prime condition during the winter months.

Minimal Maintenance

In comparison to buildings made from other materials, steel buildings require significantly less maintenance. This stems from the fact that steel is a much more durable and resilient material even in the harshest winter weather.

Wooden building frames can warp, rot and chip. This makes wooden buildings prone to significant wear and tear in climates with cold winters or a lot of rain. Wooden buildings require regular maintenance, such as new siding and paint jobs to protect them from the elements.

Brick buildings run a high risk of corrosion when they stand in varying climates or areas of excess moisture. Vegetation buildups and water roof run-off leads to moisture that damages bricks as well as the mortar between them, according to Bobvila. These issues mean that brick buildings need to be power washed, stripped of old paint and repainted in order to maintain their strength.

Aside from removing dirt and sand from the surface, steel buildings do not require significant amounts of maintenance. Keeping gutters clean and watching for debris buildup are minimal amounts of maintenance in comparison to buildings made from the aforementioned materials.

Snow Removal Tips

Snow buildup on the roof of a steel building that is beyond its specified loading criteria can cause distress and damage. Also, the first layer of snow that touches the building tends to melt, leading to excess corrosion and the accumulation of ice. These factors make snow removal an important aspect of winter building maintenance.

One important thing to remember is that the goal of snow removal is not to completely clear the roof. Rather, you want to downsize the weight of the snow so that it returns to a level that the steel roof can support. Attempting to remove every bit of snow would require scraping that would damage the surface of the roof.

You should attempt to remove snow in a pattern that doesn't leave one area completely cleared while another is piled up. This type of imbalance can put stress on the frame and purlins. Working from the edges of the building and moving inward while having someone else shovel their way from the middle to the edges is your best bet for even snow removal.


Adding insulation is a great investment if you plan to heat your building during the winter. While it may be costly initially, it will save you money down the road.

Traditional fiberglass blankets aren't the most compatible option when it comes to steel walls. Instead, you should use a combination of fiberglass and reflective insulations, as cited by BuildingsGuide. Interior wall materials can be placed over this insulation easily, and this combination will eliminate condensation and serve as a radiant heat barrier. You can even choose to call a heating installation company if your building is used by people or animals all year round, like a barn or riding arena.

Steel is a low-maintenance material when it comes to building design. If you are someone who has chosen or wants to build a steel structure, consider the aforementioned tips for management during the winter months.

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Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.