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Steel roof structure – pros and cons

A key element of every roof, but also the entire building, is the rafter framing. Traditionally, the roof structure – rafter framing – is made out of timber. It is not only a traditional material but still the most commonly used. However, steel is an increasingly popular material for rafter framing. We look at the use, advantages and disadvantages of a steel roof structure.

Steel roof structure – key information

As mentioned in the introduction, the steel roof truss is becoming increasingly popular. So when is it used? Steel roof structures are primarily used in buildings and houses which walls are also based on a steel frame. The steel roof truss is also used in roof rebuilding – particularly when a flat roof is converted into a pitched roof. In these cases, a lightweight steel roof structure is used, as it puts a minor load on the walls and ceilings.

Steel roofing is also used for large-area buildings, such as warehouses and supermarkets. The steel roof truss is usually purchased as a finished product. However, it is prepared according to the delivered design, taking into account specified dimensions. Companies that manufacture and sell steel roof trusses usually also offer its installation. The steel roofing structure is delivered to the construction site semi-finished and then put together.

Advantages of a steel roof structure

The advantages of a steel roof truss:

  • it is easy and quick to erect – compared to timber framing, its installation is less labour-intensive and does not require a large number of workers,
  • it has high strength,
  • it is a relatively cheap solution,
  • properties of steel – it does not require drying out or maintenance,
  • steel roof trusses can be lighter than wooden rafter framing,
  • moisture resistance (however, it must be properly prepared beforehand) – this prevents the appearance of mould or fungi,
  • it has high resistance to adverse weather conditions,
  • unlike wooden rafter framing, the one made of steel will definitely not be inhabited by insects, pests or parasites,
  • at the production stage, steel elements are covered with special additional protective and anti-corrosive coatings.

Disadvantages of the steel roof structure

Steel roof trusses also have their disadvantages. These include:

  • corrosion proofing must be carried out,
  • although the steel roof structure is effectively protected against corrosion, if this protective coating is scratched, it will become susceptible to corrosion,
  • although it does not require regular maintenance, regular inspections are required,
  • due to its low weight, heavy roofing, such as ceramic and especially cement tiles, cannot be laid on it,
  • steel trusses cost more than their wooden counterparts,
  • for large or complicated roofs, steel trusses may prove to be an uneconomical solution,
  • as the individual finished elements are large, transporting them to the construction site can be challenging.