tructural steel is one of the most advantageous materials in the construction industry. It is durable, cost-effective, attractive, easy to install, and has high tensile strength. But like any other material, steel needs proper maintenance to stay in good shape, especially after the construction of any structure. This guide highlights structural steel maintenance necessities after construction.
You need to inspect your structural steel building at least twice a year to identify and fix issues on time. Also, inspect at the end of every season since some seasons, such as winter, have harsh weather that could lead to damages. You don't want to experience structural issues in the future due to flaws that developed in the previous seasons.
You should also inspect structural steel parts of a building after a remodeling project such as the enlargement of the existing structure since the addition can affect the integrity of the existing one. For safety reasons, hire a professional to ensure no errors go undetected.
Take photos of the building before and after inspection. They will help you during the next inspection as you can quickly notice other errors you had not noticed earlier. Also, record the names of the experts or companies that you work with during the inspection and the dates. The government regulatory agencies may require these critical details during safety regulations checks.
You should always make minor repairs early before they develop further and weaken the structure. If you notice any minor issue, therefore, call a welder to fix it; you don't have to wait until your next inspection to fix it.
The steel parts you should pay attention to include the minor fittings such as door hinges. Structural steel piles are typically fastened together with fasteners or fittings, which are prone to corrosion. When they rust, they can get loose and affect the stability of your structure.
Therefore, you need to inspect, replace, or repair them on time. Oil the door hinges regularly to reduce friction so that they can work efficiently. For extra precaution, paint new fittings with coal tar.
If you have trees and bushes around the steel structures, you need to trim them before they get attached to your structure. Plants typically hold water, so they will expose your structure to water, which could lead to corrosion or mold growth. Also, the branches can create scratches on the roof and walls, so you should trim them early enough.
Structural steel buildings are usually insulated to control temperature, moisture, and noise. However, birds, insects, rodents, and other pests might damage the insulation. For example, if several birds create holes in the insulation while building nests, cold air from outside will get in and affect the thermal comfort of your structure.
Therefore, if your structure doesn't block noise or your energy bills have spiked due to high AC usage, check the insulation and call experts if you notice any damages.
You need to clean your steel structure to get rid of accumulated dust that can lead to scratches or make your structure dull. Besides, you should remove mold that may have formed due to moisture exposure. Use a mild cleaning agent or mix one cup of ammonia with five gallons of warm water. Also, invest in a soft-bristled brush or a low-pressure washer.