When Is It Time To Replace My Steel Structures?

Even the best-laid structures require regular maintenance and repair. This goes double for the steel fabrications that support your building and business. Everything from the stairwells to the bolts that hold your manufacturing pieces together is subject to wear and tear, making them a potential hazard as the years go on.

The lifespan of steel structures raises two important questions as you grow your business. First, how long will your structures last (either inside the building or the building itself), and how can repair take place with minimal disruption to the business? For both, we have good news that we’ll touch on in today’s blog on replacing steel structures.

Lifespan of Steel Structures


Generally speaking, steel structures can last in peak conditions for approximately 50 years. This number can be affected by issues that arise over time or during the construction period.

Time concerns include exposure to water and other elements, as well as ground shifting, general wear, and heat fluctuations. An improperly fabricated steel structure might suffer from the outset if the welds were completed improperly or if stress corrosion was not adequately planned for in the design.

Fatigue management should be based on the complexity of your structure. Keeping an eye on high-wear locations or parts of the structure that are exposed to moisture and frequent cold temperatures will be essential in understanding how your steel structure is aging and where problems may arise.

Signs to Replace Steel Structures


The following considerations may impact when and how comprehensively you decide to address wear in steel fabrications:

  • Are you concerned with public-facing aesthetic wear, like rust?
  • Is the structure at risk of failure?
  • Are there new technologies that your structure could be retrofitted to support?
  • Has your business evolved to need additional structures or space?

Above all, safety should be the foremost concern for business owners looking to replace their steel structures. But as for the other questions, the possibility of improving or augmenting your current structure without sacrificing the overall performance of your business is often more feasible than you may think.

Design Building means you won’t be simply reacting to the structure. When compared to multiple outsourced contractors (each working towards slightly different outcomes), a united team of designers and engineers allows you to anticipate and plan ahead for better profitability down the line.

A Cost-Effective Approach


The benefit of a Design Building company in steel fabrication and repair is that all of the necessary planning and fabrication is done by one team, not a disjointed group of companies with different goals. 

With Design Build structural steel fabrication, you benefit from united planning and execution. This overlap in expertise means that your vision remains at the forefront of the discussion, both in planning, fabricating, and when requested, installing  your structure.
Small teams can work more nimbly around existing infrastructure, and your designer can take the limitations of the space and consciously work them into the plan for repairs. The right team can ensure that your business remains operational as repairs are done, making for a cost-effective way to not only prevent disaster, but plan for future success.


Are you looking for a second opinion on the state of your steel structure? Flynn Bros Projects can help.
Whether it’s just taking a look, pitching improvements, or handling the process from start to finish with our team of designers and builders, we’re eager to help you grow your business. Click here for a free quote from our experienced Albertan design building team.