What Does Maintenance Free Mean When You Own a Fabric Building?
When you are buying a building, there is probably a spot on your budget spreadsheet for ongoing maintenance. That totally makes sense, because with traditional buildings you have costs associated with keeping your building operating and looking presentable. Those costs are for the life of the building, so as you may imagine, that budget number can be intimidating.
On our side of the world, in contrast to traditional structures, we claim to be virtually maintenance free. Let’s dig into that for a minute.
The most obvious ongoing maintenance issue, besides the lawn and landscaping, is keeping the building clean. With our fabric—a proprietary PVC fabric called Exxotec™—it’s difficult for dirt to find anything to stick to. Over the layers of PVC and scrim are layers of lacquer that give our buildings their crisp, clean, bright look. That surface is very slick and dirt does not adhere to it readily. Consequently, a quick rainstorm is all your building will typically need to keep it clean. Sometimes our clients will do a quick rinse of their building with a pressure washer. In any event, keeping your building clean can come off your maintenance checklist.
With traditional buildings, the exteriors show wear after a few years, and from then on you need to keep tabs on paint, trim, roofing…virtually every aspect of your building’s exterior. A fabric exterior does not chip or rust. In fact, our Exxotec™ (28 ounce) has a 25-year warranty. One of the reasons we switched to this cladding is its durability and resistance to UV rays.
One source of wear for some fabric cladded structures is fabric that moves around on the frame a lot. Those friction points can wear out the fabric before it’s time, especially in consistently windy climates. Legacy has a proprietary tensioning system that keeps our cladding tight on our frames, reducing movement and friction. Our commitment to building long-term durability into our structures also reduces your maintenance worries.
As with traditional buildings, a fabric building can require repairs if accidents occur. With traditional buildings such as wood, steel and brick, the repairs can take time and be costly. With fabric, repairs are much easier. If the damage is small enough, a repair piece of fabric can be welded onto the cover. If your trained to weld the fabric, it’s as simple as cleaning the area around the tear and welding the patch on it. In 30 minutes you’re done. If the repair requires more than a patch, our structures consist of a series of separate panels, which are easy to manufacture and install. Some fabric building manufacturer use monocovers, so when they have an extensive repair, they need to replace the entire exterior cladding.
Some traditional building materials, such as steel cladding, are subject to corrosion. Fabric does not corrode, which makes it ideal for corrosive environments.
Many of our clients use our buildings to store corrosive materials, so we have been working on corrosion protection for our steel for many years. In 2019 we finished our Paint Shop, offering our customers the option for epoxy painted frames. Epoxy-coated steel has two obvious maintenance advantages:
- It provides better rust protection than hot-dipped galvanized coatings
- It is much easier and less expensive to repair, if damaged, than hot-dipped galvanized coatings
We give our best epoxy coatings a 15-year warranty.
When it comes to maintenance, we talk a lot about our exterior and our very tough cladding. Many customers insulate their buildings, and so we install a liner inside to keep the insulation in place. This Exxotec™ liner inside your building never needs to be painted and can be cleaned if needed. Can you say that about walls in a traditional structure? Furthermore, our liners are typically white and they reflect existing lighting into all the corners of your interior. It makes for a bright work environment and a bit of relief to your electric bills.
If maintenance is a significant item on your budget spreadsheet, consider a fabric structure. There are many not-so-obvious benefits to a tension fabric building—benefits that your budget folks will appreciate now and well into the future.