How to Winterize Your Pre Engineered Metal Building

Protect Your Metal Building this Winter: Everything You Need to Know about Winterizing a Pre Engineered Metal Building

Winter is coming. Before fall gets away from us, start thinking about what your strategy is going to be for preparing your pre engineered metal building for the winter. The longer you wait, the more stressful, and challenging, it can be when the time comes to get it done.

There’s a lot of information out there on the best ways to winterize a pre engineered metal building. We’ve done our research and expanded on our knowledge of this subject to put together a complete guide to walk you through the steps needed to weatherproof your building for winter.

From the inside to the outside; top to bottom – this is how you can prepare a metal building for the winter season.

Winterizing Tip #1 – Clean Inside

Before you close things up for the wintery weather, do a deep clean of the inside of your pre engineered metal building. Chances are, if you didn’t use something since last year…you can part ways with it this time around. Extra clutter can be dust collectors, making your winterizing job harder than it needs to be.

Take time to generally clean things up; sweep, dust, wipe things down, etc… Your metal building will appreciate the TLC.

Organize and Declutter

A rule of thumb for decluttering is to ask yourself, “Did I use this in the last 6 months?” Followed up by, “Am I going to use this in the next 6 months?” If the answer is anything other than a resounding, “Yes!” … You can let go of that item.

Having extra clutter or unorganized items in your pre engineered metal building can be cause for a headache in the spring when you’re doing the spring cleaning. Make your life easier and your building cleaner and get rid of things sooner rather than later. You may even end up with a pretty penny to spend during the holidays if you sell anything now!

When you’ve gotten rid of anything you didn’t need, it’s time to properly pack up the remaining equipment or items in your metal building. Just in case something does happen, you’ll want to make sure sentimental stored items, electronics, or other fragile things are secure in a waterproof storage tub or bag. Cover equipment or vehicles at this time too.

Sweep

Get things off the floor and sweep. Be sure to get the corners and behind large machines and equipment if possible. 

Common household brooms with synthetic fibers for bristles are a great option for light cleaning. If your pre engineered metal building is used for hobbies, storage, or large cars and RV’s, you probably can get by with just a regular broom for this job.

A red broom sweeping debris from a concrete floor

Winterizing Tip #2 – Clean Outside

Once you’ve finished with the inside of your pre engineered metal building, it’s time to move to the outside. Having the proper equipment to complete these winterizing tasks is going to be important. Make sure you have hoses, a ladder, and shears and/or a chainsaw for trimming back surrounding plants.

Pressure Wash

If you have a pressure washer or have the means to borrow or rent one, it’s a good idea to give your building a nice rinse before the winter weather hits. Make sure you do this when the weather is still fairly warm so no residual water freezes over windows or doors; making them more difficult to open when you need to.

Bonus Tip: If the inside of your pre engineered metal building is constructed in a way that allows you to do so without damaging anything else inside, you can also pressure wash the inside walls of the building. If you’re worried about getting water on equipment or the flooring of your building would become damaged, you can wipe down walls with a wet rag or sponge instead.

Pressure washer cleaning a building exterior

Roof Inspection

If your pre engineered metal building is located in an area that typically gets heavy snow and ice storms, you’ll want to perform a thorough roof inspection.

Take this time while you’re on the roof to check for any damages and make necessary repairs. Check for damaged panels and/or trim, as well as missing screws. Then, clear the roof of any debris.

If a repair is necessary for your metal building, please refer to the PBS Components Team or visit our components store for assistance in replacing metal building components that may be damaged.

Gutters

Now it’s time to take a look around the edges of the roof-the gutters. Clear them of any debris and make sure drainage pipes are clear and able to drain properly.

When gutters aren’t cleaned properly during this time of year, it can allow for leaves and other debris to collect and eventually cause a blockage resulting in water buildup and overflow. This can potentially cause water damage to your building if you leave them blocked for too long.

Getting up on the ladder, you can use a gutter cleaning tool or a small trowel to remove leaves and debris from the gutters. To clear the downspout of any blockages, you can hold a hose at the base and flush anything out that may be starting to build up. You’ll be able to see at the bottom if you’re flushing anything out.

If you don’t have a ladder available, or you’re afraid of heights, you can obtain an extendable gutter cleaning tool. These pieces of equipment extend to reach gutters and can make the same scooping motion you’d be doing to remove leaves and debris. These do take a bit more finesse and control though to use properly.

An orange gloved hand removing debris from a gutter

Trim Back Foliage

Depending on where your building is located, you may want to trim back any plants or trees that are growing too close to your building. During the winter months, having big trees loom over your building can pose a threat if branches become encased in snow and/or ice and break; landing on your building.

Using a chainsaw for larger tree branches or pruning shears for smaller ones, you can remove overhanging branches from being in the path of your pre engineered metal building. For low-level plants and bushes that are around your metal building, you’ll need to first decide if you want to save these and have them grow back in the spring or fully remove them.

If they’re decorative plants that are a part of your landscaping design, you’ll want to trim back longer growth near the base of the main stem. Be mindful not to remove too much of your plant-just the excess. This should allow for it to grow back in the spring. If you want to fully remove the foliage around your metal building-go ahead and trim the plants all the way back or remove them fully from the ground.

Orange chainsaw cutting a branch off a tree

Winterizing Tip #3 – Secure Seals, Ventilation, and Insulation

This can go hand-in-hand with cleaning the inside of your building or be a final checkmark on your list. Move throughout your pre engineered metal building and check that all seals along doors, windows, and other openings are secure. Take a look at the ventilation equipment you have and make sure it’s clean and operating well. Finally, give the insulation a once over and make sure your building is ready to withstand whatever winter has in store for us.

Male construction workers face through a tube

Winterizing your building may not be a very big task if you’re somewhere like Hawaii, which we provide service to. With fairly lovely year-round weather, preparing your building for winter should be a piece of cake! In more mountainous areas of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska, you may need to put in some extra time and preparation in order to be ready for winter.

The bottom line is: Don’t procrastinate, clean top from bottom, and you’ll be prepared for winter.

Have more questions about how to winterize your metal building?
Contact us today, we’re happy to help.