Pros and Cons of Traditional Fireproofing vs. Intumescent… | Kaloutas

Kaloutas now offers Fireproof Patching. Call us today to discuss your needs.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Fireproofing vs. Intumescent Fireproofing

 Pros and Cons of Traditional Fireproofing vs. Intumescent Fireproofing

Pro­tect­ing your facil­i­ty from fire with fire­proof­ing coat­ings is essen­tial for pro­tect­ing your peo­ple and prop­er­ty as well as stay­ing up to code. As you review your fire­proof­ing options, you’ll find that there are mul­ti­ple mate­ri­als suit­ed for these pur­pos­es. The two main cat­e­gories of fire­proof coat­ings are cemen­ti­tious (the tra­di­tion­al choice) and intu­mes­cent. The for­mer type of coat­ing doesn’t alter its state dur­ing a fire while the lat­ter puffs up when exposed to high heat — both types, how­ev­er, offer sig­nif­i­cant pas­sive fire pro­tec­tion (PFP). Let’s go over the var­i­ous pros and cons of both cemen­ti­tious and intu­mes­cent fire­proof­ing so you can make a more informed deci­sion for your facility.

Cemen­ti­tious Fire­proof­ing Pros

Though not always the case, tra­di­tion­al fea­tures tend to be more per­va­sive than their less tra­di­tion­al coun­ter­parts — as such, cemen­ti­tious fire­proof coat­ings are typ­i­cal­ly easy to track down (in part because they’re eas­i­er to man­u­fac­ture) and less cost­ly com­pared to intu­mes­cent coat­ings. Both nor­mal-weight and light-weight cemen­ti­tious coat­ings are also high­ly pro­tec­tive, espe­cial­ly when it comes to shield­ing struc­tur­al steel from flames. The chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion of these coat­ings pas­si­vate steel, reduc­ing the metal’s over­all reac­tiv­i­ty — in this way, cemen­ti­tious coat­ings pro­tect steel from both fire and oxi­da­tion (as well as oth­er threats).

Cemen­ti­tious Fire­proof­ing Cons

Lighter cemen­ti­tious coat­ings can run into dura­bil­i­ty con­cerns since they’re com­posed of less Port­land cement mate­r­i­al. Con­verse­ly, nor­mal cemen­ti­tious fire­proof­ing can become heavy, which may bur­den cer­tain struc­tures over time and inter­fere with the ease of appli­ca­tion. All types of cemen­ti­tious coat­ings are porous, too, mean­ing mois­ture can make its way inside crevices and in turn harm under­ly­ing sur­faces. As such, cemen­ti­tious coat­ings should not be applied in high-mois­ture environments.

Intu­mes­cent Fire­proof­ing Pros

Where intu­mes­cent coat­ings real­ly shine is their supe­ri­or pro­tec­tive abil­i­ties. The afore­men­tioned puff­ing up” that occurs when these coat­ings reach a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture is trig­gered by chem­i­cal process­es, pre­vent­ing flames from get­ting too close to under­ly­ing sur­faces for extend­ed peri­ods. The advan­tages don’t end there, how­ev­er. In the right hands, intu­mes­cent paint is also easy to apply (espe­cial­ly sin­gle-com­po­nent for­mu­las). And when prop­er­ly applied, these coat­ings cre­ate a water­tight seal, leav­ing no gaps or holes for mois­ture to enter. Ulti­mate­ly, intu­mes­cent coat­ings act like oth­er pro­tec­tive coat­ings, mit­i­gat­ing the risk of cor­ro­sion while also pro­tect­ing sur­faces from fire. 

Intu­mes­cent Fire­proof­ing Cons

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the added bells and whis­tles offered by intu­mes­cent fire­proof­ing increas­es its price. More­over, it’s imper­a­tive that inte­ri­or struc­tures are thor­ough­ly pre­pared (e.g., cleaned, sealed, cli­mate-con­trolled, etc.) pri­or to appli­ca­tion, as fail­ing to do so can decrease the effi­ca­cy and longevi­ty of these coat­ings. While we men­tioned the ease with which intu­mes­cent sprayed fire­proof­ing is applied to var­i­ous sur­faces, it’s worth not­ing that spe­cial­ized knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence are required to get the job done — in oth­er words, not just any­one should attempt coat­ing sur­faces with intu­mes­cent fire­proof­ing. Last­ly, the com­plex nature of intu­mes­cent paint often neces­si­tates a greater degree of main­te­nance over the long term.

The Ver­dict

Both tra­di­tion­al (cemen­ti­tious) and intu­mes­cent fire­proof­ing pro­vide a facil­i­ty with sig­nif­i­cant pas­sive fire pro­tec­tion. Many build­ings rely on a com­bi­na­tion of these mate­ri­als to suit every type of sur­face and envi­ron­ment. At Kaloutas, our fire­proof­ing spe­cial­ists under­stand the ins and outs of all fire­proof­ing mate­ri­als and pro­vide effi­cient, high-qual­i­ty appli­ca­tions across many indus­tries. Let us help you deter­mine which fire­proof­ing solu­tions are best for your business.

To learn more about us and all that we do, con­tact us online or give us a call at 9785321414 today.

Partner with Kaloutas

Whether you're a facility manager, general contractor, or building owner, Kaloutas is ready to tackle any heavy-duty industrial painting, cleaning, coating, fireproofing, containment, or flooring projects you need to stay operational. Talk with us today about your facility goals and project needs to improve compliance, safety, and aesthetics.

Partner With Kaloutas

Your facility's needs wait for no one. Fill out our form below and a sales team member will connect with you within 24 hours.

Get a Free Estimate