FAQ: How Long Does Weathering Steel Last?

What is the lifespan of weathering steel

FAQ: How Long Does Weathering Steel Last?

Long-term performance and durability are key benefits of using weathering steel for any project. Many may mistake the protective patina that weathering steel develops over time as rust and assume that it is already corroding away. In reality, weathering steel is resisting the corrosion in order to provide years and years of service with minimal maintenance.

The lifespan of weathering steel  

The lifespan of weathering steel, or corten steel, depends greatly on the local climate and the conditions the steel is exposed to as well as how it is used and treated. Climate plays an impactful role in the lifespan of weathering steel and how long it takes for the patina to develop

The patina forms quicker when the steel is exposed to more cycles of wet and dry weather. Both wet and dry conditions are needed for the steel to properly resist corrosion. For instance, let’s consider a weathering steel planter box. If the planter does not offer adequate drainage, the steel may not dry out, and rather than forming a patina, it may begin to rust through at a quicker rate.   

Under ideal circumstances, weathering steel can last for decades. In fact, properly designed weathering steel bridges have achieved lifespans up to 120 years with minimal maintenance. 

The advantages of corten steel

In addition to its long life span, weathering steel offers further advantages over other metals, including: 

  • Periodic inspection and cleaning should be the only maintenance required to ensure the structure continues to perform well. 
  • Cost savings from the elimination of painting.
  • Reduced construction time due to the elimination of painting.
  • Aesthetic appeal as the patina blends pleasingly with many different environments.
  • Environmentally friendly because initial painting and future repainting is unnecessary.
  • Sustainability benefits. 


The sustainability of weathering steel

Did you know that steel is the most recycled material in the world? When you combine the high-strength, low-maintenance, and cost-effective benefits of weathering steel, it becomes an extremely sustainable material for all types of projects. 

Interested in reading more about weathering steel? Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions. 


Contact Central Steel Service for High Strength Weathering Steel

Central Steel Service stocks high strength weathering steel across all product categories to meet the needs of our customers. We understand that the unique applications requiring these specialty products require the utmost attention to quality and material traceability. By focusing our entire resources on supplying only these specialty products, we can give you complete confidence in your decision to allow us to service your steel requirements. Contact us today!