How long does a steel roof last?
The lifespan of a steel roof will vary depending on its design – whether it’s flat or profile – the amount of damage and weather exposure, along with other key factors. Typically, you could expect a steel roof to last between 30 to 50 years. Many metal roofs are built to withstand windspeeds of 140 miles per hour and they have a level of impact-resistance too.
Steel roofing is strong, durable and often a more cost-effective solution for industrial buildings when compared with other materials. Designed to expand and contract in hot and cold temperatures, metal roofing reflects UV rays that contribute to roof surface radiant heat. However, to replace whole panels or indeed roofs is a costly exercise. You may only need to treat the sheet cut edges and fixings that are showing signs of degradation and corrosion.
Mining and modern slavery
There are a number of environmental concerns when it comes to steel. Although the finished product is usually 100% recyclable, the steel manufacturing process starts with mining iron ore in opencast mines. The most common way to process iron ore is through a blast furnace, which uses coke. Produced from coal, coke is one of the major sources contributing to air pollution. There are also emissions in the water used to cool the coke after baking iron ore.
There are various toxic chemicals released in the steel manufacturing process, which include coke oven gas and dust, sulphur, naphthalene and ammonium compounds. Dangerous by-products, such as sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, are also produced.
There is also the question of modern slavery. Some countries that produce steel have human rights issues, which include poor conditions for workers and reports of children being used in mining operations. The steel manufacturing process is a growing concern for businesses who are worried about their carbon footprint and issues within their supply chain.
Can you paint a steel roof?
You could look at repainting a metal roof system instead of replacing steel sheets, which is less costly to a business than removing an old roof and fitting new metal sheets. Repainting is often a more environmentally friendly solution too.
Where the cut ends of metal sheets, such as lap joints, have been exposed to the rainwater and have started to corrode, use Giromax® Edgecoat. This system treats both the top and reverse sides of a cut edge to tackle corrosion. Providing protection against the weather, temperature and UV, this coating product has a 15-year guarantee.
If more of the coating is starting to show signs of wear, then this can be reinstated using Giromax Roofcoat, which has a 25-year guarantee.
Steel roof coatings with fewer toxic chemicals
Environmental concerns are factored strongly into the development of our coating products. We avoid using as many toxic chemicals as we can, this includes fewer solvents. This means fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which contribute to air pollution, are released. We also ensure there’s less leachable content, so the chemicals stay within our coatings, and do not dissolve and run off with rainwater.
Our roof coatings have lower heavy metal and isocyanate content than are often used in 2-pack PU coating products, reducing the potential impact on workers’ health if exposed. To minimise health and safety concerns for the product and its user, we also use more environmentally friendly stabilisers.
Before you replace a steel roof, consider the manufacturing process and whether a roof coating system is the better option. We are the original market leaders when it comes to roof coatings. We invest into the technical development of our products and training our teams.
If you need advice about our products or application, please speak to the Giromax team or call 01455 558969 today.