Tips for Maintaining Your Metal Garage

Steel garages are durable, versatile, and cost-effective — but just like any structure, some maintenance is needed to maximize the building's longevity (and return on investment!). Thankfully, even though the list of upkeep actions may seem long, metal structures don't need much to stand the test of time. Here's what you need to know about metal garage maintenance.

Are Metal Garages Sturdy?

Absolutely. Compared to more "traditional" wood garages, a steel garage is weather-resistant and strong enough against all elements, especially if you choose a thicker gauge. Metal buildings are also easier to maintain and aren't prone to insect infestation like wood can be.

How Long Does a Metal Garage Last?

A prefabricated metal garage kit can easily last 20 to 30 years. Some steel structures can last over 50 years with good care. That's one of many reasons why a metal garage is a smart investment.

Do Metal Garages Leak?

Some people have experienced leaks through metal garage windows, but this usually occurs because: 

  • The owner has opted for a lower-quality kit.
  • The screws were not installed straight or correctly.
  • Condensation has occurred due to the absence of insulation or poor insulation.
  • The windows have not been treated with vapor retardant to help control humidity.

How Do You Maintain a Metal Building?

In terms of general preventative metal garage maintenance, most upkeep can be done at your convenience. Of course, if for some reason you think you might have a structural problem, you should call a professional as soon as practicable. Otherwise, plan to do the following.

Don't Let Minor Problems Become Major Ones

You wouldn't ignore your vehicle's check engine light and continue driving around until your transition blows, would you? Similarly, if you see any damage or issue, you should get it fixed as soon as you can. The earlier you address problems, the less you will spend and the less likely these problems will grow into disasters that require lots of time and money to fix. Keep door hinges well oiled. Make sure the garage door seal (at the bottom) perfectly meets the floor. 

Inspect Your Garage on a Regular Basis

Taking a bit of time every now and again to take a look around your garage allows you to spot minor imperfections or issues so that you can take care of them right away. Make it a habit to check inside and outside your garage after a storm or similar bad weather. You can even make a schedule and checklists — perhaps even jot down notes so you don't forget to follow up on things. Check things like weather stripping, as well as garage door parts to make sure they're still working properly.

Keep Your Garage Clean and Tidy (Inside and Out)

It's similar to cleaning your home. If you do a little at a time, on a regular basis, it takes less time and effort to keep it tidy. If you let garbage, debris, dust, and grime build up, the clean-up is going to feel like a gargantuan task. If it gets bad, you may even have to bring in professionals to restore your garage. While a messy interior isn't so much a danger in terms of damage, you may be creating a fire hazard. Accumulation or piles of material may also hide actual damage or problems from view so that you don't even know you have to deal with them. At the very least, a cluttered, dirty garage will impact on your enjoyment of your garage.

Wash Your Steel Panels

Yes, you read that correctly. If you let dirt or grime build up on the surfaces of your metal garage, you may eventually see rust or mold growing on them. The question now becomes, "What do you clean a metal building with?" or "How do you clean mold off of a metal building?" There are a number of industrial cleaners for washing building exteriors and surfaces on the market. Alternatively, you can make your own cleaner by mixing one cup of ammonia to five gallons of water. You can apply this mixture to your steel structure with large spray washers or even a sponge mop. Scrub, then with a garden hose with condenser or power washer, rinse. Make sure that the solution does not touch anything other than what you are cleaning.

Surfaces should be cleaned every 2 to 3 months. Some people like to work in rotation, washing walls one month and the floors the next month. Remember that when you are washing inside, you should wear a proper, well-fitting air mask so that you don't breathe in the ammonia.

Get the Most Out of Your Steel Garage with Proper Metal Garage Maintenance

Metal garage maintenance is not as onerous as one might think. If you stay on top of these simple upkeep tasks, you can extend the life of your garage and enjoy it for decades to come. Choosing the right metal garage will also go a long way to making maintenance a breeze. Talk to us today and find out which garage is best for you.