Construction methods and building materials haven't changed an enormous amount in the past hundred years or so, but one area of construction that has seen significant advancement is the construction of roofing. Traditional timber rafters have been almost entirely phased out in favour of pre-assembled roof trusses, even in small residential buildings
Time, however, marches ceaselessly on, and while most roof trusses manufactured today are still made from the same timbers that were once used to create rafters, more construction firms are turning to steel roof trusses. These immensely robust trusses can be just as useful for constructing a small detached home or a multi-storey office block, and have a number of advantages over their conventional timber brethren.
What are the advantages of choosing steel roof trusses over timber trusses?
As you can imagine, steel roof trusses are considerably stronger than timber trusses, and are capable of supporting far more weight. As well as allowing you to use heavier and more durable roofing materials, this added strength also allows steel roof trusses to be made with less material than timber trusses without compromising on strength, leaving more useable space within the roof cavity for insulation or conversion into livable loft spaces.
Steel roof trusses are also significantly more durable than timber trusses, and since they are invulnerable to the mould and rot that can degrade and weaken aging timber trusses, this durability does not diminish over time. To prevent rust, steel trusses are coated in durable powdered or galvanised coatings, and since the trusses of a roof are not directly exposed to the elements these coats can last for many decades without needing to be renewed.
Despite being considerably stronger than timber trusses, steel roof trusses are usually lighter than equivalently-sized timber trusses, largely because of the reduced amount of material required to construct them. This allows them to be lifted and installed with greater ease and less need for heavy-duty lifting equipment, and also increases safety on your project site while the trusses are being fitted.
Termites and other wood-boring insects are the bane of every builder's existence, and will savagely consume any timber components of a building if allowed inside, including timber roof trusses. Steel roof trusses are completely immune to the attentions of termites and other insects, and do not require chemical treatments to maintain this resistance as timber trusses do. This makes them particularly valuable for construction projects in hotter, arid parts of the country where termite colonies are a common problem.
In the event of a significantly sized house fire, timber roof trusses can catch fire, contributing to the intensity of the blaze and potentially causing devastating roof cave-ins. Steel roof trusses will not ignite even when exposed to extreme temperatures, and tend to bow and buckle when heated rather than suddenly fail, giving inhabitants more time to escape the blaze and improving the building's overall fire safety rating.
For more information, contact local steel fabrication companies.