Pros And Cons Of Building With Steel

Nowadays, almost any kind of structure utilizes steel. High-rise buildings, houses, and commercial areas maximize its use since it’s an easily accessible material. You may think it’s your best go-to option whenever you need to source construction items for a project. But just like any other material, steel also has its pros and cons. Before you use it for building, here’s some information that may help you determine if it’s going to fit your needs.  

The Pros  

  • Steel Is Durable  

The use of steel in construction seems widespread since the material is known to be durable and easy to handle. Using it for the foundation and main components of a structure ensures that the building can withstand different external factors like extreme heat or rain. Establishments built with steel can last for several years with no need for frequent maintenance. Its upkeep is also less expensive than wooden buildings since it’s less prone to damages.  

If you’re working in the construction industry, you’d always want to pick the most durable material for your projects to ensure your client will receive the best quality for a fair price. Although other construction mediums like wood and concrete are also viable options for construction, using them may cause trouble to your client in the long run.  

Wood is susceptible to pest infestations since it’s an organic material. Termites or ants may eat up parts of a structure if it’s made with low-quality wood. This could eventually compromise a structure’s integrity and become a safety hazard.  

  • It’s Lightweight  

Planning a construction project, whether for a business establishment or a residential home, takes a lot of time and money. You’d need to factor in the desired output of your client with their budget and deadline and then ensure you hire the right workforce to help you fulfill the job. Of course, many external factors can affect how fast or slow you finish the construction. You may encounter a lot of obstacles like delivery delays or exhausted workers who can’t keep up with your schedule.  

Most of the time, the materials you use for the construction can influence the results of your project. For example, you’d need to be quick when working with cement since it dries up quickly. And once its consistency becomes too hard, you can no longer use it. If you don’t know how to properly use the construction materials you have, you might end up wasting your client’s money.  

Working with steel could minimize these situations since the material is easy to handle and modify. Since it’s lightweight, the workers using the material won’t struggle to carry and transport it. They’d also have an easier time building a structure since they won’t have to race against time, unlike when working with cement.  

  • It’s Flexible 

One advantage of using steel for building projects is that it’s very flexible. It can be used for both the exterior and interior of your structure. It’s also one of the best materials to use for the foundation of any building.  

The shape of steel is easy to change without compromising its strength. That’s why many construction projects seem to prioritize using steel for their structures. It’s also easy to source since there are many reliable steel suppliers that can deliver a variety of steel products. You can simply order rods, columns, or metal channel stock, depending on the specifications of your project, so you won’t need to be the one to cut or shape it.

Its flexibility also makes it a great medium to erect buildings in areas with harsh weather conditions. Extreme winds or heat can compromise the integrity of any structure. Hence, every planner needs to think about how a building will fare against these natural phenomena. Using steel efficiently could help ensure an establishment is less prone to collapse, even when exposed to continuous corrosion. It can adapt to different environments and enable a building to withstand natural wear-and-tear rigors. 

  • It’s Eco-Friendly 

Nowadays, it’s common for architects and engineers to plan a construction project with sustainability in mind. Erecting an environmentally friendly building is now encouraged to decrease waste production and lessen carbon emissions harming the planet. Using steel is one of the most effective ways to ensure a new structure is less detrimental to the environment. 

Only a few resources used in construction are recyclable, and steel is probably the most common one. Old metal scraps can be repurposed so that unused steel doesn’t go to waste. Secondary steel, which is made by combining metals using an electric arc, is easy to access and cheaper than primary steel. Those who want to save some money usually pick recycled steel since it’s just as strong as standard steel.  

The Cons 

  • Poor Maintenance Can Lead To Damages 

Although steel structures require less maintenance, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to put up any precautionary measures to protect them from corrosion. Steel is strong against most agents like rain or heat. However, it can still deteriorate over time. 

The main enemy of steel structures is rust. If you fail to put a protective coating on the metal foundation of your building, it would start to turn brown, which is an indication of rust. Once it spreads, your establishment’s foundation would turn brittle and less sturdy. This can cause your structure to corrode, leading to more money spent for repairs or damage control.  

  • It’s A Potential Conductor Of Heat 

One reason many seem to prefer steel is that it’s a safer material to work with. It’s not flammable, so if a fire breaks out, the structure it’s supporting won’t collapse and incur too much damage, compared to a wooden building. However, it can still conduct heat, which can trigger a fire.  

If you plan on using steel for a residential home or commercial space, consider the area’s climate where you plant to erect it. It may not be advisable to put too much steel on the building’s exterior if the weather is always hot. It’s best to apply a fireproof coating on the structure to protect it against fire.  

Final Thoughts  

The scope and utilization of steel in the construction sector are vast. Using steel for your next project could have many advantages since the material is highly durable and easy to modify. But it would help to still take precautions when working with steel since it’s not an invincible medium. It’s important to always remember that your goal when building any structure is to ensure it will stay erect for a long time.

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