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Summer Heat, Ventilation and Factors Every Metal Building Owner Should Consider

Summer’s arrival and the rising temperatures that come with it can have substantial impacts on metal buildings and the people who work inside them. And contrary to popular belief, simply cranking up the air conditioning isn’t enough to ward off issues that can create unhealthy indoor environments and lower the lifespan of your structures. When it comes to managing the issues associated with summer heat, ventilation is key.

In this blog, Metallic Products’ airflow pros will take look at the effects hot, humid conditions have on your steel buildings and staff members, and steps you can take to create healthy, more comfortable environments that keep overall operations on track. Read on, take note and stand prepared for the summer conditions to come.


City scape with rising sun and orange cloudy sky

In the summer heat, ventilation considerations can keep metal buildings safe, comfortable and healthy.

How Do Hot, Humid Conditions Impact Your Steel Buildings?
Steel buildings are known for their durability and strength, but they are not impervious to environmental factors. Excessive heat and unchecked moisture can lead to costly repairs and replacements — and structures that simply aren’t as protective as they otherwise should be.

  • Hot Conditions Can Lead to Costly Moisture Issues: With heat comes humidity. And when that humidity builds up within your metal buildings and has no way to escape, it often leads to insulation damage, rust formation and growth of mold and mildew. Although cleanup and repair/replacements are manageable on the smaller scale, these issues are largely taking hold in areas that are out of sight. For that reason, they often aren’t spotted until they become larger, more expensive troubles. Even when problem areas are addressed early on, if they aren’t properly repaired, the issues are likely to return.
  • Trapped Heat and Moisture Create Poor Air Quality: Plants and manufacturing facilities that generate heat and steam are releasing smoke, fumes and other contaminants into the air, too. And when those contaminants have nowhere to go, they linger behind and lower air quality. This creates workspaces that aren’t only uncomfortable for those who frequent your metal buildings. It makes them unsafe, too.
  • Excess Heat Can Cause Metal Components to Expand and Contract: It’s common for steel structures to respond to changing temperatures. In fact, weather changes cause Paris’ Eiffel Tower to gain and lose a few centimeters each season. In extreme conditions, however, hot temperatures can prove to be too much for a metal building, resulting in distortions that impact its look — or worse, its structural stability.

Metallic Products Tip: For more information about moisture’s effects on your steel buildings, visit our “Humidity in Metal Buildings: What You Should Know” blog post.


The Effects Hot and Stuffy Metal Buildings Can Have on Team Members
Without adequate ventilation, working conditions inside steel buildings can become brutal on a scorching day. And subpar conditions can carry substantial impacts for your team members, output and overall operations.

  • Reduced Productivity: Hot, humid and stuffy situations can significantly impact a person’s concentration and cognitive function — and lead to fatigue and discomfort, too. Side effects of such conditions include decreased productivity and efficiency, and an overall difficulty for employees to perform at their best.
  • Health and Safety Risks: High temperatures combined with inadequate ventilation can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Moreover, poor air quality due to insufficient ventilation can cause respiratory issues and allergies, posing additional health risks to team members. Workers who are uncomfortable and ready to get out of an environment also tend to cut corners related to safety best practices. And this can place both themselves and surrounding team members at risk.
  • Discomfort and Low Morale: Unpleasant working conditions can contribute to dissatisfaction and low morale among employees. In these instances, it becomes challenging to maintain motivation and enthusiasm — and employers often find themselves dealing with higher-than-usual turnover.

Metallic Products Tip: Hot weather working conditions can prove dangerous in even well-ventilated areas. It’s important to help workers pace their tasks accordingly — and to ensure your team is ready to take on such work in as safe a manner as possible. OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention resources can help.


What Difference Does Metal Building Ventilation Make?
Effective ventilation systems play a pivotal role in creating a safe and comfortable environment within steel buildings, and for all the reasons mentioned above. It’s all about temperature regulation, moisture control, improved air quality and enhanced comfort. (And no, an amped up A/C isn’t enough.)

Your metal buildings need a way to usher fresh air in, push hot, stale air and other contaminants out — and generally keep air moving. Having the right metal bu

ilding ventilation accessories installed, and installed in the right places, is key.

Remember, a steel building is a complex mix of parts and systems that all need to come together just so. Our hygrothermal dynamics blog post offers a deeper look at the issue, but put simply, to ensure optimal airflow, you have to make sure your building’s accessories are

Condensation on a metal building railing

When moisture becomes trapped inside a metal building, it can result in costly repairs and replacements.

operating with basic scientific principles in mind. These include:

  • Warm Air Rises
  • Condensation Forms When Water Vapor Encounters Cool Surfaces
  • Low Pressure Air Comes Together with High Pressure Air to Create Lift

Tools such as your HVAC systems and warehouse fans can do a great job controlling temperature and airflow, but they can’t go it alone. They’ll need to work in tandem with your metal building ventilation accessories (your wall louvers, ridge vents and the like) to get the job done right. The good news is, a quality metal building accessory provider will be able to help you determine exactly what you need and where you need it.

Creating healthy and comfortable indoor environments isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of planning. If you have questions about heat, ventilation or your steel building accessory needs, feel free to reach out to the Metallic Products team. We’ve been helping buildings breathe for more than 60 years, and we’re glad to offer input. Play it safe out there this summer — and the rest of the year, too!