Metal buildings can last for decades with minimal maintenance, but they do require some attention and care over the years. Taking care of the building's finish on a timely basis prevents rust from becoming a serious problem and weakening the structure. If you've become the recent owner of a new or used metal building, you might be wondering how to best take care of your new carport or garage. These tips will keep your metal building looking great for years to come.
Create Good Site Drainage
Making the right choices when choosing a location for a metal building goes a long way in preventing damage to it. Look for a raised and level location that has smooth slopes leading away from it on all four sides. Placing your metal building up against an excavated hillside or at the bottom of a slope increases the chances of flooding and rust. If you don't have a spot on your property that meets all of these criteria naturally, pay for a grading service to create a stable and raised area for installing the metal building. A little extra time spent preparing for installation reduces maintenance and repairs significantly later on.
Check for Rust
Schedule some time to check your entire metal building for signs of rust and corrosion at least twice a year. Treating rust promptly with sanding and painting prevents the damage from spreading or weakening the structure. Use a flashlight to check the corners and ceiling of the interior and consider a long-handled mirror to examine the roof without climbing on a ladder. Spotting early signs of rust like peeling or bubbling coatings allow you to treat the corrosion while it's small and easy to handle.
Install Insulation and Vapor Barriers
Moisture must gather before rust can form inside a metal building. Installing upgrades like insulation and vapor barriers can protect your garage or carport with only a minimal upfront cost. Choose a radiant vapor barrier and pair with solid foam board or spray foam insulation. Minimizing temperature differences between the interior and exterior of the building prevents condensation and moisture accumulation. By keeping your metal building as dry as possible, you can reduce the need to sand and paint rusty spots on your building for its entire lifespan. Insulation rarely needs replacing in a properly designed pre-engineered metal building.
Keep the Hinges Oiled
Even if you only use your metal building for storage, you need to keep your entryways opening smoothly and easily. Waiting until one of your doors is sticking or refusing to open will increase the cost of dealing with the problem. Every few months add a few drops of oil to the hinges in your bay doors and smaller access doors as well. Make sure to use lubricant products recommended by the manufacturer of the door hardware to ensure proper operation. Trying to use a general-purpose oil like WD-40 on all the various hinges on your metal building could lead to more sticking and uneven opening rather than less.
Stick to Soft Power Washing
Washing away dirt and debris at the end of summer is one of the best ways to protect the finish on your metal building. Yet improper cleaning can lead to rust rather than preventing it. Avoid high-pressure washing techniques and stiff-bristled brushes. Stick to soft washing techniques that rely on lower water pressure levels to loosen dirt without damaging the coating on your metal building. Soft-bristled brushes with telescoping handles help remove stubborn stuck-on debris like fallen leaves or bird droppings. Use a phosphate-free cleaning solution designed for use on painted and powder coated surfaces for best results.
Remove Snow Promptly
Even if your metal building is rated to support a heavy snow load, don't let a lot of snow build up on its roof when you can help it. Getting out with a flexible snow rake and removing snow when it's just a few inches deep can prevent a lot of damage to the building. Structures that manage to withstand collapsing can still experience damage that causes leaks in the roof if too much snow presses down on the material. Metal bars that prevent the accumulation of thick layers of snow can also help reduce the risk of damage to your metal building.
With these tips, you should have no problems maintaining your garage or carport for its entire lifespan. Invest in professional cleaning, repair, and recoating when necessary to keep your metal building looking like new.