Residential Steel Buildings

Residential Steel Buildings

4 Steel Building Myths You Need to Know

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Using steel components to build homes is picking up speed, but not all companies have your best interests in mind. While touting the benefits to steel siding, steel roofing, and steel framework, many companies gloss over the disadvantages or exaggerate what steel buildings can really accomplish. Shop wisely; know the limits of steel before you begin looking, and be on the watch for these common steel building myths.

1. Steel Is long-lasting

Steel Framework

This is only partially true. Under ideal conditions steel can last a very long time, especially when used as a supporting framework inside a building and not outside on a roof or wall where the steel is exposed to the elements. Residential steel components that last over 20 years are common. However, when considering steel roofing and steel siding, corrosion becomes a key problem.

Steel corrodes easily once the protective coatings on its surface have worn away. In arid climates, homebuilders should be safe, since rust rates are naturally low. But in oceanside locations, the salty air will quickly eat away at external steel once the coating has worn away. Moist, salty air is a poor environment for all building components, and steel is no exception.

2. Steel Is maintenance-free

There is a common misconception that steel does not need to be repainted, repaired, or washed with anything more than a quick spray-down from a garden hose. Steel may be easy to wash (if used externally) but it is not the perfect material. And paint still fade over time on steel surfaces.

Even more importantly, steel - like all metals - expands in hot weather and contracts in cold weather. In the short term, expansion and contraction do not create noticeable damage. But over many seasons, slow movement can undo latches, rivets and screws that hold steel components in place. This can affect steel integrity, causing lots of noise in windy weather. Even worse, over time it can damage entire parts of your house if metal grows too brittle and cracks in cold weather.

With this in mind, you might want to consider only using steel if you live in a mild climate. Always pay for a skilled contractor who knows how to install and weld metal components as securely as possible.

3. Steel can save energy through its insulation qualities

This is another tricky issue. In very hot climates, steel rooftops can reflect solar energy and keep houses cool. But when you start talking about steel framework and steel siding, wood actually beats metal when it comes insulation.

Whenever you install steel you must also pay for high-quality insulation, because steel is a poor insulator. It conducts heat easily, allowing it to pass through buildings and forcing furnaces or air conditioners to make up the difference. Insulated steel panels solve the problem, but have high price tags.

4. Steel buildings are cheap

Unfortunately, you won't save money immediately after installing steel. Steel building components for residential houses are some of the most expensive components around. They are strong, resistant, and very durable in the right conditions, but steel components require a significant investment for a first-time buy. Over the years, you may be able to recoup the costs, but starting expenses are universally high. Plan on saving up before making your purchase, or your wallet could take a serious hit.

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