How Cementitious Fireproofing Saves Your Facility From Major Repairs
If your facility isn’t properly prepared, a fire can have devastating effects. Adequate fireproofing consists of both active and passive measures. Active fire protection (AFP) includes automatic and manual responses to fires, such as smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, extinguishers, etc. Passive fire protection (PFP) is all about slowing down and/or containing fires via fire-resistant additions to walls, ceilings, and floors. The two most common forms of PFP include intumescent and cementitious fireproofing — the former application expands when in contact with high temperatures to increase separation between steel and flame, while the latter (made from cement or gypsum) is inherently resistant to flames and doesn’t transform during the event of a fire. Both types of PFP offer important and viable protective measures for all kinds of facilities. Let’s go over how cementitious fireproofing, in particular, can save your facility from major repairs.
Benefits of Cementitious Fireproofing
Slows Down Heat Transfer During a Fire
It’s no secret that fires are extremely hot — however, different fires reach different temperatures based on a variety of factors (i.e., fuel source, the spread of flames, combustible materials in the area, etc.). The average fire reaches somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to severely damage if not entirely destroy various materials if left to burn long enough. Indeed, it takes time for those flames to heat up the surfaces they touch, and the longer it takes, the more time there is to put out the fire and protect your people and assets. Cementitious fireproof coatings provide facilities with this additional precious time by slowing down the rate of heat transfer between fire and protected surfaces. This way, even if some surfaces and objects undergo damage, the necessary repairs and replacements will pale in comparison to what you would need to invest in otherwise.
Reduces Likelihood of Structural Collapse
The greatest fear related to a facility fire is a total collapse. When a building loses its structural integrity, it becomes increasingly difficult (if not impossible) to salvage most assets or proceed with life saving efforts. The structural steel that props up most buildings is highly durable, but even steel beams can warp and break under enough heat and pressure. Temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher are required to melt steel, but beams can significantly weaken as temperatures approach 1,500 degrees. Thanks to its heat transfer-reducing properties, cementitious fireproofing greatly lowers the risk of structural collapse, especially when combined with other passive measures (i.e., intumescent fireproofing) and active fireproofing measures like sprinklers, extinguishers, etc.
Easily Applied on Many Surfaces
The protective benefits afforded by cementitious fireproofing aren’t worth much if these coatings aren’t easily applied to various surfaces and assets within your facility. Fortunately, modern cementitious coatings can be delivered via spraying (the same goes for intumescent coatings). Spray on fireproofing is efficient, convenient, and flexible, allowing contractors to more easily coat even the hardest-to-reach and oddly-shaped surfaces, so they’re protected from flames. It must be noted, however, that not all cementitious coatings are recommended in areas that receive high levels of moisture, as water can sometimes make its way in between the fireproof coating and underlying surface. In these cases, exterior-rated cementitious systems or intumescent products provide a better alternative in these situations.
Protect Your People and Property with Cementitious Fireproofing
To sum up, cementitious fireproofing delays the time it takes for surfaces to heat up, reduces the likelihood of structural collapse, and can be applied to many surfaces with relative ease and efficiency. If it’s time to update your building’s fireproofing measures, work with a fireproofing contractor that prioritizes efficiency, safety, and longevity. At Kaloutas, our multi-service teams work the way you do to minimize downtime and maximize operations safety and efficiency.
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