Adhering to a maintenance schedule will help keep your steel building operating smoothly and will help in curbing maintenance costs. Building maintenance occurs regularly, usually in cycles shorter than a year. Maintenance goes into a company’s monthly profit and loss columns in accounting. Maintenance includes lawn mowing, window cleaning, changing light bulbs, and replacing HVAC filters.
Expenses that have a larger effect on assets are categorized as capital spending, not maintenance. Examples include replacing a roof, installing a more efficient furnace, or choosing sensor-activated restroom fixtures.
Build Savings into Your Design
Capital spending on improvements can build many maintenance savings into your building design.
Steel buildings are good at surviving high winds and lightning. And steel isn’t vulnerable to rot or insects. But rust can be a problem if moisture reaches the raw steel. So don’t let it.
- A well-chosen site will protect the building from streams and other flooding hazards.
- Steel beams enclosed in interior finishes don’t need extra waterproofing. Alternatively, choose red-iron steel structural members. Their iron-oxide coating protects against moisture. It also looks good in an industrial-style interior design.
- Pre-painted steel for roofs and exterior walls has built-in protection. You won’t need to put touch-ups on your maintenance list or pay for major paint jobs out of your capital budget.
- Prevent condensation. Our blog post on this topic explains how condensation happens and how to prevent it. It details using proper insulation, vapor barriers, venting, and putting down a drainage layer beneath the concrete foundation.
- Choose your door and window types during design. The factory cuts the opening for doors and windows when fabricating the building elements. If the doors you choose later don’t match that size, rain could leak in.
Choose Durable Flooring
If you’re leaning toward carpeting your space, consider alternatives requiring less maintenance. These resist wear from foot traffic and are easy to sweep clean.
- Choose a design to impress on the concrete floor, making the concrete attractive in its own right.
- Epoxy the concrete floor to seal and smooth the surface.
- Look into modern vinyl flooring if you don’t want a concrete floor. It comes in many beautiful designs.
Our blog post on the floor options will give you more detail.
Green Your Property
Helping the environment can also trim your maintenance costs.
Good landscaping looks appealing—an advantage for attracting the public to your business or organization. Rather than a row of traditional shrubbery at the base of your building, plant a mix of tall grasses, shrubs, and flowers. Their roots of varying depths will create a web that anchors the soil against erosion. These roots also provide a path that guides surface water deeper into the soil. Less surface puddling means less water to make its way into your steel building.
The naturally uneven profile of this border needs little or no hedge clipping. Choose plants native to your region for hardiness; they’re already accustomed to your climate. Native plants also need less irrigation and fertilizer than traditional landscaping and lawns, which, again, means they cost less to maintain. In fact, extend the border into what would normally be lawn, and you’ve reduced lawnmowing costs, too.
Schedules and Checklists
A steel building has lower maintenance needs from the get-go, but routine maintenance is still required. A maintenance schedule will keep those tasks from slipping through the cracks. Along with making a schedule, search online for “building maintenance checklists.”
You might find maintenance management software (MMS) helpful—especially if you have several buildings to maintain. In general, MMS can record the purchase, warranty, and maintenance history of the components of your building systems. Use the MMS to assign tasks among maintenance team members, and include contact information. Software comparison sites such as Capterra can help you decide if MMS is for you. Some MMS is free, usually with limited features.
Talk with Peak Steel
At Peak Steel, we’ll help you build a steel building that will serve your needs flexibly and efficiently. Our start-to-finish expertise goes from design through construction. We’ll help you create a building that’s easy to maintain at its peak. Call us at 706-342-9795 or send us a message now to learn more about how we can help you with curbing maintenance costs.