Proper maintenance is the key to improve the lifespan of most structures. Steel structures are one of them. Professional metal fabricators put their heart and soul into making mega structures, buildings, magnanimous marine structures and high tech energy sector structures. Once produced these structures do survive for a long period of time. The reason being the durability and tenacity of structural steel. But having said that, there are some downsides to using steel structures. They can get brittle over a period of time due to extreme temperature changes and they are also prone to corrosion. In order to combat these downsides, appropriate measures have to be taken.
In the case of buildings, once the construction is completed, it is advisable to conduct bi-annual maintenance checks. Create a systematic schedule for these checks. Also, make sure that you conduct seasonal checks after episodes of severe weather conditions. If need be, get your structural engineer or contractor to conduct the checks and make repairs whenever necessary.
If you come across any holes in your steel structure or a crack in the paint; it is best to not leave it for the future. You never know when minor issues can turn into major ones affecting your overall steel structure building. So, fill all holes and use primer and paint to repair scratches.
Steel piles need to be maintained from time to time. Corrosion can damage these structures making them weak. Reinforcing of H-piling by welding steel plates onto flanges and web is appropriate for the localized areas of corrosion. There is another method of reinforcement in which reinforcing rods are welded along the main axis of the repaired member across the damaged area.
Mooring fittings include bitts, bollards, cleats, and clock. Their maintenance includes tightening or replacing bolts, replacing cracked, broken or corroded fittings. Replacement and reinforcement of the foundation is also a part of maintaining mooring fittings. New fittings should be of cast steel and the same size and capacity as the replaced ones. They should be painted with coal tar.