The Ins and Outs of Intumescent Paint: How It Works, Where… | Kaloutas

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The Ins and Outs of Intumescent Paint: How It Works, Where to Install It, and Why It Matters

 The Ins and Outs of Intumescent Paint: How It Works, Where to Install It, and Why It Matters

If you’re build­ing or run­ning a com­mer­cial prop­er­ty, you are required to have a fire pro­tec­tion pro­gram in place. There are many fire­proof­ing options avail­able, and coat­ing sur­faces with intu­mes­cent paint is one of the most effec­tive methods.

What Is Intu­mes­cent Paint and What Does It Do?

Intu­mes­cent paint is a type of fire-resis­tant coat­ing that can help pro­tect a struc­ture from the dev­as­tat­ing effects of a fire. Intu­mes­cent” comes from the Latin word ” intumēscere,” which means to swell or expand. This is exact­ly what hap­pens when fire comes in con­tact with the material.

The intu­mes­cent coat­ing con­tains dif­fer­ent chem­i­cals, such as a bind­ing poly­mer, a blow­ing agent, and car­bon. Expo­sure to heat cre­ates a chem­i­cal reac­tion that caus­es the paint to expand. The coat­ing can swell up to 100 times its orig­i­nal thick­ness, cre­at­ing a dense, spongy lay­er. This foamy lay­er turns into a tough car­bon char as it is exposed to ris­ing temperatures.

Through swelling, the intu­mes­cent coat­ing keeps flames far from the coat­ed sur­face. There­fore, build­ing mate­ri­als are not eas­i­ly dam­aged or destroyed by fire. The coat­ing can pro­vide at least 30 min­utes of pro­tec­tion. But the time the coat­ing lasts depends on the char’s qual­i­ty and thick­ness. Gen­er­al­ly, the thick­er the coat, the greater the insu­la­tion and the longer the protection. 

Where Can You Apply Intu­mes­cent Paint?

Intu­mes­cent paint is ver­sa­tile. You can apply it to many mate­ri­als. Steel is the most com­mon mate­r­i­al paint­ed with this coat­ing, but you can also use it on wood and con­crete. Exam­ples of wood you can coat with intu­mes­cent paint include ply­wood, soft and hard­woods, gyp­sum, OBS, cladding, pan­el­ing, and wood­en doors.

Your local con­trac­tor will know where to apply the intu­mes­cent paint. Sup­pose you don’t plan to hire pro­fes­sion­als to apply the paint but need to see whether you can use it for a spe­cif­ic mate­r­i­al. In that case, there are resources you can read or experts like Kaloutas you can call.

Intu­mes­cent Paint Appli­ca­tion Process

Apply­ing intu­mes­cent paint requires care­ful prepa­ra­tion and atten­tion to detail to ensure that it pro­vides the nec­es­sary pro­tec­tion in the event of a fire. If you want to explore, How is intu­mes­cent paint applied?” here are some gen­er­al guidelines:

1. Deter­min­ing the right paint — Before any­thing else, ensure the intu­mes­cent paint is for­mu­lat­ed for the mate­r­i­al you are coating. 

2. Prepar­ing the sur­face — Remove loose or flak­ing paint, oil, rust, dirt, and any debris from the sur­face. The sur­face needs to be smooth and clean to pre­vent any adhe­sion issues.

3. Apply­ing primer — A primer coat is usu­al­ly applied before the intu­mes­cent paint to ensure adhe­sion and pro­vide addi­tion­al pro­tec­tion. The primer should be allowed to dry com­plete­ly before apply­ing the intu­mes­cent paint. Take note that primers are not one-size-fits-all. Make sure the primer is com­pat­i­ble with your intu­mes­cent paint. 

4. Coat­ing with intu­mes­cent paint — Wait for the primer to dry before apply­ing the coat. You can use an air­less sprayer, roller, or brush for the job. The best method will depend on the type of intu­mes­cent paint you have.

Mea­sur­ing the dry film thick­ness (DFT) dur­ing the appli­ca­tion is essen­tial. DFT refers to the thick­ness of the coat­ing. As men­tioned above, the amount of time the intu­mes­cent paint delays fire varies depend­ing on the qual­i­ty and thick­ness of the layer. 

5. Apply­ing a top­coat — A top­coat is unnec­es­sary when coat­ing inte­ri­ors. But it can pro­vide addi­tion­al pro­tec­tion for intu­mes­cent paint that’s paint­ed on the build­ing’s exte­ri­or or high­ly humid areas. You can also apply a top­coat if the col­or of the intu­mes­cent paint does not match your inte­ri­or design. 

It’s impor­tant to fol­low the man­u­fac­tur­er’s instruc­tions care­ful­ly when apply­ing intu­mes­cent paint, as the appli­ca­tion process may vary depend­ing on the prod­uct. For speed and qual­i­ty, let pro­fes­sion­als like Kaloutas han­dle the job. 

Ben­e­fits of Using Intu­mes­cent Paint

A fire can hap­pen at any time for many rea­sons. And when it does, your busi­ness risks los­ing valu­able assets and mon­ey. Com­mer­cial fires also risk the lives of your employ­ees and every­one on your property. 

Intu­mes­cent paint may not com­plete­ly stop a fire, but it can help slow down or pre­vent the spread of flames. It can allow more time for fire­fight­ers to respond and occu­pants to evacuate. 

In addi­tion to fire pro­tec­tion, intu­mes­cent fire­proof­ing can pro­tect your busi­ness against legal trou­bles. If you are already in busi­ness, you know that the U.S. Occu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health Admin­is­tra­tion requires employ­ers to devel­op fire pro­tec­tion sys­tems. You will have one fire­proof­ing sys­tem in place by coat­ing your struc­tur­al ele­ments with fire-resis­tive paint.

Fur­ther­more, the mate­r­i­al isn’t high main­te­nance. All you have to do is keep an eye out for any dam­age, which is unlike­ly to hap­pen since the mate­r­i­al is designed to with­stand many haz­ardous sit­u­a­tions. Address any prob­lems with the coat­ing to ensure it remains effective.

How Much Does Intu­mes­cent Paint Cost?

The cost of intu­mes­cent paint can vary depend­ing on sev­er­al fac­tors, such as the lev­el of thick­ness, required sur­face prepa­ra­tion, expan­sion ratio, and envi­ron­men­tal resistance. 

Gen­er­al­ly, intu­mes­cent paint is more expen­sive than tra­di­tion­al paint due to its spe­cial­ized prop­er­ties and the added pro­tec­tion it pro­vides. On aver­age, intu­mes­cent paint can cost between $2 to $14 per square foot, although this can vary sig­nif­i­cant­ly depend­ing on the pro­jec­t’s spe­cif­ic requirements. 

It is essen­tial to get a quote from a pro­fes­sion­al installer to accu­rate­ly deter­mine the cost of intu­mes­cent paint for a par­tic­u­lar project.

Intu­mes­cent Main­te­nance Tips

Main­tain­ing intu­mes­cent paint is essen­tial to ensure it con­tin­ues pro­vid­ing the required lev­el of fire pro­tec­tion. The fol­low­ing are some tips for main­tain­ing intu­mes­cent paint:

Reg­u­lar inspec­tions — It’s best to inspect the paint­ed sur­faces reg­u­lar­ly to check for any signs of dam­age, such as crack­ing or peel­ing. Be quick to repair any dam­age to main­tain the integri­ty of the pro­tec­tive layer.

Clean­ing — Intu­mes­cent paint should be cleaned reg­u­lar­ly to remove dirt or debris that accu­mu­lates on the sur­face. Clean­ing should be done using a soft cloth or sponge and a mild deter­gent solution.

Avoid­ing abra­sives — Abra­sive clean­ers or scrub­bers should be avoid­ed as they can dam­age the sur­face of the intu­mes­cent paint.

Recoat­ing — Dam­aged intu­mes­cent paint is pret­ty easy to fix. All you must do is clean the area sur­round­ing the dam­age and reap­ply the coating. 

Fol­low­ing the man­u­fac­tur­er’s instruc­tions for main­tain­ing intu­mes­cent paint is vital to ensure opti­mal per­for­mance. If there are any doubts or con­cerns about keep­ing the paint, it’s advis­able to con­sult a pro­fes­sion­al installer or con­trac­tor for guidance.

Take­away: How Effec­tive if Intu­mes­cent Paint?

Intu­mes­cent paint serves as your prop­er­ty’s pas­sive fire pro­tec­tion sys­tem. After appli­ca­tion, you may for­get about it, and it will still come to your res­cue should your build­ing catch fire. If the coat­ing is applied cor­rect­ly, your busi­ness will be less like­ly to suf­fer sig­nif­i­cant loss­es due to a fire. 

So, whether your com­mer­cial prop­er­ty is still under con­struc­tion or is already oper­a­tional, it’s wise to con­sid­er invest­ing in intu­mes­cent paint. If you are already using a facil­i­ty and want to apply an intu­mes­cent coat but don’t want to put your oper­a­tions on hold, pro­fes­sion­als like Kaloutas can help you.

The Kaloutas team con­sists of intu­mes­cent fire­proof­ing experts who can do the job quick­ly with­out affect­ing your oper­a­tions or com­pro­mis­ing the result. Every­one can go on with their day while the team coats every struc­tur­al ele­ment of your build­ing with intu­mes­cent paint.

For more on intu­mes­cent paint, vis­it or call Kaloutas today.

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