How Long Do Steel Buildings Last?

steel vs wood building

One of the features that makes steel buildings so popular is how long they last.

The lifespan of a steel building is directly affected by how you take care of it. A building that is well taken care of is likely to last longer. A steel building that is well looked after is capable of surviving for more than 50 years. However, the lifespan of your steel building depends on several factors, which we’ll review below.


The low maintenance needs of a steel building are the top feature that makes it quite popular. However, it’s crucial to perform regular maintenance activities on your steel building to ensure it lasts for an extended period.

You can efficiently prolong the lifespan of your still building by giving it a fresh coat of paint once you start to see the factory paint chipping. Generally, the paint will have an extensive warranty though so be sure to check that first. We’d also recommend a thorough washing at least once a year, and instantly addressing any minor damage, including cracks and scratches, in a timely and efficient way.

Performing thorough and regular inspections on the gutters and roofs of steel buildings is a great idea. The two components protect the entire building; hence any damage affecting these parts can destroy the whole building.

Nature Of Use

The way you use your steel building can significantly affect its longevity. Gentle usage will extend the lifespan of your steel building, while rough usage can accelerate its aging process.

What Makes Steel Buildings Last


types of steel used in buildings Dimensionally durable steel buildings last for an extended period because they resist corrosion. To construct a corrosive-resistant steel building apply a barrier coating such as galvanized or paint to protect any contact with oxygen or water which might corrode the steel. According to 2021 IBC (2203.1), the design involving steel buildings should include protection against corrosion, which can affect steel’s durability and strength.

Steel buildings use unique alloys that are rust-resistant, durable and exceptionally robust. The majority of steel buildings have extended warranties. In most cases, they exceed half a century. Steel is solid metal and can withstand the test of time. You won’t have to deal with insect infestation, rodents, termites, or wood rot and molds.

Fire resistant

The non-combustible nature of steel makes it resistant to burning and doesn’t act as a fire accelerator during a building fire. To further increase its fire resistance to high temperatures, one can include innovative insulations and retardant coatings.


large steel warehouse garage Steel buildings don’t contract or expand with moisture content; thus, they can’t crack, creep, warp, or split. It remains straight and stable for a lifetime. In addition, the isotropic nature of steel offers dimensional properties across all directions, ensuring the steel building has equal strength in all loading directions.

You can also add a vapor barrier insulation on the inside to protect the walls from condensation.


Steel buildings are pest-resistant; this avoids the risk of termite invasion, thus saving on expensive maintenance and repairs, unlike wood buildings.

Steel is quite durable and can withstand a hurricane’s force, rendering it the best option for your construction. If it is well taken care of, it is likely to outlive you. If you are dedicated to taking care of your steel building, it can last for over 50 years. Unfortunately, it can last only ten years if you fail to undertake regular maintenance; not a significant investment.