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Pros and Cons of Steel Beams

March 12, 2021

From bridges to skyscrapers - all freestanding structures around you are made possible with steel beams. Known for their power to support heavy loads, these beams come in different shapes and sizes, each customized for varying needs and purposes. Like all other constructions material, beams made using steel too have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros and Cons of Using Steel Beams in Construction


Steel Beam: Advantages

  • Rust-resistant and anti-corrosive: Unlike wood, metals do not rot. Particularly, the chemical composition of steel beams allows them to resist rust and corrosion. For this reason, people can benefit more from structures built with steel. 
  • Durable: The reason why a steel beam is a top choice when it comes to construction work is that it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is so durable that it can survive higher stress than wood or stone.  
  • Recyclable: Like other metals, steel is 100% recyclable making it an ideal choice for companies promoting sustainability. Needless to say, recycling drastically reduces construction waste. 

Steel Beam: Disadvantages

  • Less resistant to fire: Unlike a concrete beam, a steel beam cannot withstand fire. Structures made using any type of steel beam are at more risk from fires.
  • High maintenance cost: In order for a steel beam to resist corrosion and rust, regular maintenance of anti-rust coating could be needed. This is what makes these types of beams slightly more expensive to maintain. 
  • Difficult to move: Because of its size, a massive steel beam would need a crane to be lifted and moved. This means more work and of course, more risk to the lives of the workers using aerial lifts.

While using beams made from steel could have some drawbacks, its advantages outnumber the cons. Also, the right metal fabricator can show you how to mitigate the possible risks and use these types of beams to your benefit.

Looking for a full-service structural steel fabrication for any residential, commercial, or industrial project? Scarboro Steel Works is committed to providing you with top-quality structural steel fabricators and fabrication products, as well as welding and installation services.