How Fireproofing Even the Most Durable Fixtures Saves the Integrity of Your Facility
Your facility is built to withstand various threats and pressures, from foundational shifts to severe weather events and more. That said, when a fire grows hot and large enough, it can quickly deteriorate your various assets and structural components, especially if these features aren’t properly protected with fireproofing of some kind. Before long, you may be facing a partial or total collapse. Here’s how fireproofing even the most durable fixtures can save the integrity of your facility in case of a fire.
Benefits of Fireproofing
Structural Steel Is Weakened by Intense Flames
Steel is one of the most commonly used construction materials for commercial buildings for its durability and relatively low cost. Indeed, it takes a lot to undermine the resilience of steel — unfortunately, a big enough fire can do the trick. While most fires don’t get hot enough to melt structural steel (this occurs at about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit), steel beams begin to lose their stiffness at just 300°F and lose their strength starting at 800°F. The more these temperatures rise beyond these points, the looser and weaker structural steel becomes. It’s no wonder that fireproofing structural steel is necessary to comply with certain building codes.
Wood, Drywall, and Concrete Are Even More Susceptible to Fire Damage
Of course, steel isn’t the only material used for structural and assembly purposes. Most commercial buildings also feature wood, drywall, concrete, and other materials that are even more vulnerable to flames. Ultimately, each of these components is intertwined — if the wooden portion of an assembly is weakened by flames, for instance, it will affect the assembly as a whole. Installing fireproof paint, including intumescent paint, and/or other fireproofing materials over these various surfaces is key to maintaining your facility’s overall structural integrity. Simply put, these commercial fireproofing solutions are designed to prevent flames from directly contacting the underlying surfaces (or at least prolong this process) to reduce the level and speed of structural deterioration. This gives occupants more time to safely escape the building and for firefighters to arrive and put out the flames before any severe structural damage occurs.
A Strong Enough Fire Can Have Long-Term Implications on Your Facility’s Integrity
Time is of the essence when it comes to eliminating a fire in your facility, both for the safety of everyone inside and for the continued soundness of your structures. If a fire is allowed to get too hot and/or remain active for too long, it can have serious long-term effects on your structural components. For instance, fires that burn over 1,300°F for approximately 20 minutes or longer can result in permanent diminishment in strength and stiffness of structural steel components. If the fire is put out before it reaches these heights, there’s a good chance your structural steel will recover its previous strength and stiffness (though some deformity may have taken place). By installing and maintaining proper intumescent fire protective coatings, the chances of these permanent problems are greatly reduced, as these high temperatures don’t have as much of a chance to affect your structural features.
Keep Your Facility Standing Tall with Fireproofing
Even the most durable parts of your facility need additional protection from flames. Commercial and industrial fireproofing solutions help keep your structural steel and other structural components from losing their strength, shape, and stiffness while allowing additional time for people to safely exit the premises and firefighters to stop the fire once and for all. These solutions also minimize the risk of your structural parts undergoing permanent damage following a fire.
If you’re looking for a partner to inspect, maintain, and/or install new fireproof coatings, look no further than Kaloutas. Our large team of experts and commitment to working the way you work allow us to efficiently provide your facility with the fireproofing it needs without interfering with your operations. To learn more about us and all that we do, contact us online or give us a call at 978−532−1414 today.