Leaks in steel buildings come from two sources: the outside and the inside. Storms cause leaks when moisture penetrates the outside of the building—usually the roof. Condensation forms on the inside of a steel building when humidity and heat inside the building hit the cooler outer skin of the structure during cold weather.
Moisture is the Enemy of a Metal Building
Do not underestimate the damage inflicted by leaks in steel buildings. Even a seemingly small drip can cause big problems if not corrected quickly. Water damage may lead to:
- Unsightly corrosion and rust of metal
- Funky odors, mold, and mildew problems which leads to poor indoor air quality
- Insect infestations
- Premature aging, decreasing the lifetime and value of the building
- Damage to contents of the structure
- Soggy insulation
Building it Right, Building It Tight
The best way to stop a leak is before it starts. Here’s how to stop metal roof and wall leaks:
1. Choose a high quality metal building kit. All steel building systems are not created equal. RHINO’s steel building systems, for example, include several waterproofing features designed to keep your building problem-free.
First of all, our commercial-grade rigid steel framing protects against damage from pounding rains and snows.
Secondly, RHINO includes high-quality 26-gauge purlin bearing rib (PBR) steel panels in the standard package, at no additional price. PBR panels provide greater strength and a deeper overlap between panels, for a much sturdier building skin than the thinner R-panels used by cheaply made metal buildings.
Thirdly, RHINO includes top-of-the-line, self-drilling, rust-resistant screws with long-lasting washers for extra sealing protection.
2. Install screws properly. No fastener system seals well unless the screws are installed correctly.
First, the screws must hit the steel framing below. If the screw misses the purlin or girt, the washer does not seal, and a leak is inevitable.
Secondly, in order to prevent leaks the self-drilling screws that attach steel roof and wall panels must be drilled in straight, not crooked.
Thirdly, screws with washers must be drilled to the correct depth. If the seal is overtightened, the over-compressed may leak. If not tightened enough, the washer does not form tight seal, and may leak.
When correctly installed and maintained, RHINO’s fasteners should never leak.
Avoiding Condensation Problems
3. Keep humidity levels low. Winter construction projects on concrete slabs present the greatest risk of condensation problems.
In their haste to get the building up, people sometimes use huge heaters to dry the concrete floor. Concrete gives off moisture as it dries. The warm, moist air inside collides with the cold weather outside, forming condensation inside the structure. Provide ample ventilation until the concrete slab is fully cured.
Livestock in farm buildings also create increased humidity. Consequently, livestock structures require increased ventilation, too.
Make it your goal to keep humidity levels below 30% in a fully enclosed structure.
4. Use adequate insulation. Climate-controlled buildings require insulation. The better the insulation system, the less condensation problems you’ll have— and the greater the energy savings, too. RHINO Steel Building Systems offers a Pro-Value Insulation package that cuts heating and cooling costs in half, while eliminating condensation problems.
5. Add a vapor retardant. One of the best ways to eliminate condensation problems is to include a high-grade membrane with your insulation package.
RHINO’s Pro-Value Insulation Package includes an extra-strong fabric vapor barrier. Washable and durable, the vapor barrier boasts double-extruded welded seams.
RHINO: The Best Way to Avoid Leaks in Steel Buildings
RHINO options like standing seam roof panels, overhanging roofs, and gutters and downspouts provide even greater weather protection.
Learn more about the ways RHINO steel buildings stand out from the common herd of metal building companies. Call us today at 940.383.9566 and find out how you can get the best deal in steel with RHINO-tough metal buildings.