Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Steel Buildings

Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Steel Buildings

Pressure washers are an effective way of cleaning the exterior of steel buildings.

We all know about spring-cleaning our homes, but what about your place of work? Whether your selling or staying, spring is the time you give your home a good scrub, so why not your steel buildings, too?

Prefab buildings are renowned for requiring a low level of maintenance, but if you want to keep them looking good and performing their best, it doesn’t hurt to give them a good going over every year.

Particularly if you’re planning on selling your building, you should stage it just like you would stage a house for sale. This includes:

  • Cleaning the exterior and interior parts of the structure
  • Removing excess equipment and materials (i.e. decluttering)
  • Inspecting building systems and making repairs where necessary


Building Exteriors

Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about the effects that a marine environment can have on steel buildings here in Alberta, but you do need to be aware if your operation is in an industrial area where there is a high amount of air pollution. This can accelerate the accumulation of grease and grime on a building’s exterior, which can result in corrosion.

In many cases, you can clean a building’s exterior with a pressure washer on a low setting. When a more thorough cleaning is needed, you can use a mild detergent.


Roof and Gutters

Anytime you’re working on a roof, or are high up on a ladder, you should exercise extreme caution to avoid falling. This includes: 

  • Wearing safety harnesses
  • Securing ladders to the building
  • Ensuring ladders are positioned on a firm base

While you’re on the roof, look around for any signs of rusty, faulty or poorly secured fasteners. Replace or retighten, as necessary.

For gutters, scoop out any debris that might have accumulated over the winter. If necessary, scrub areas that have accumulated any gunk with a soft nylon brush and suitable detergent, and then rinse with water. Also, check to see that any downspouts are clear of blockages.


Doorways and Other Entrances

To keep doors from squeaking and to ensure locking mechanisms function properly, clean and lubricate any hinges, locksets, and in the case of roll-up doors, chains and reduction drive gears.


Keep a Log for Your Records

Whether you do your maintenance in-house, or you hire it out to a company that specializes in pre-engineered and/or structural steel building maintenance and repairs, it’s a good idea to keep an ongoing record of the work done, including: 

  • What work was done
  • Date of completion
  • Who did it


This is useful if you plan on selling the building at some point. Providing potential buyers with an accurate maintenance log will demonstrate that you were proactive in keeping it in peak condition. 

For more on this, read: 5 Pre-engineered Steel Building Maintenance Tips.


If you’re considering a steel building for either an industrial or commercial application, talk to Metal Structure Concepts. We offer a complete range of design-and-build services.