Debunking Structural Steel Building Myths

Aug 30 2022

When you are designing your building, you may run into people with opinions about structural steel and the risks of using structural steel for your building. In fact, most of these misconceptions are easily debunked, and are usually only shared to dissuade you from a metal building and toward a different material. Some of the most common myths are easy to challenge. Structural steel framing with powder coating.

Myth: Steel Frames Rust Too Much

Steel buildings will be exposed to components that can cause oxidation and rust. However, this is rarely a problem, as rust will be dealt with long before it becomes a problem. Galvanization can protect the durable surface of your steel products. During the galvanization process, a coating of zinc is applied to the exterior of the steel structure. Zinc processing protects the exposed surface of your metal elements for a long time. Rust will not be an issue for galvanized steel, and galvanization requires minimal maintenance and upkeep.

Myth: Steel Buildings Make if Difficult to Maintain the Temperature

Buildings that are properly insulated will not experience problems with expansion, contraction, temperature changes, or temperature retention. A structural steel building with good insulation is actually quite energy efficient, and can stand up to both extreme heat and extreme cold without issue.

Myth: Lightning Dangers Make Steel Structures Too Risky

This is a common scare tactic, but it has little basis in fact. Yes, metal is an electrical conductor. No one wants to make themselves, or their employees, a sitting duck during an electrical storm. However, in reality, your metal structure will actually transfer the energy from lightning straight into the ground below. The lightning wouldn’t be released destructively in the frame as it would in a traditional wooden structure, making it safer to be in a metal building.

Myth: Steel Structures are Too Expensive

Substantial building projects do cost a substantial amount of money. Yet using structural steel ensures you durability, flexibility, and significant savings over other building materials. Prefabricated steel buildings are constructed quickly, providing a substantial savings in labor costs. Quality structural steel products will become well worth the investment as time goes on. The long-term maintenance costs of a steel building will be much lower when compared to similar structures composed of other building materials.

Myth: Steel Buildings Cannot Be Altered Once Built

Altering steel buildings is possible, and is usually easier and quicker to alter than other building materials. A steel building can easily adapt to expansion, and new structures can be incorporated into the construction. Expanding a steel building is actually more convenient than modifying the existing framework for wood or concrete structures.

Myth: Wi-Fi Can Be Hampered by Steel-Framed Structures

Waves and signals rely on diffraction, and these waves can pass around steel as efficiently as any other material. The waves from radio, television, and cell phones will work the same in a building constructed from structural steel as they do in any other building. 

When someone tries to dissuade you from using structural steel, consider the source and what their motive is. Some are simply repeating what they’ve heard, some are using a small garden shed as their basis, and some are trying to convince you to use their materials. No matter what you hear, it’s important to know that steel buildings are much cheaper to build and maintain than traditional wooden structures, and are an excellent choice for your next commercial building. If you have more questions about using steel for your building structure, or you’d like a quote on your next structural steel project, contact Swanton Welding today.

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