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Guest Post: Why Spray-Applied Fireproofing is Necessary on Steel Buildings

May 24, 2024

Steel buildings are ideal for reduced risk of fire, but even a steel structure is not entirely flameproof and must be fireproofed to ensure the structure does not fail if temperatures reach higher than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) steel buildings are durable, noncombustible and have fire-resistant material. There are several ways to coat steel to increase endurance against fire and these include exterior intumescent coatings, conventional coatings and intumescent coatings. Let’s check into each and determine why spray-applied fireproofing is necessary on steel buildings.

Exterior intumescent and intumescent coatings are both used in industrial environment spaces such as enclosed elevator shafts and other industrial architectural designs. Intumescent coatings look like they are painted on and can often be blended into the scenery of the project design to look pleasing to the eye. When applying any type of fire-resistant coating, it is important to use protective covering for skin including durable nitrile gloves and clothing to prevent chemical contact with skin or eyes.

Conventional coating, which is sprayed on, is used for steel buildings, especially in areas hidden from view such as steel beams inside a roof or wall. Spray-applied fireproofing is the ideal way to protect steel beams and load bearing steel walls in structures. This is a passive form of fireproofing that is used to help prevent failure of steel structures that are exposed to heat and flame.

Spray-applied fireproofing has benefits other than fireproofing that other forms of flame-resistant materials do not offer. Spray applied fireproofing is foamy and helps with insulation including thermal insulation. This helps cut down on energy bills by up to 50% monthly.

Another benefit of spray-applied fireproofing is that it can be applied wet or dry and then spread into the areas it needs to be. This can help reduce drafts in an older home and can help lessen noise from one room to the next. Spray-applied fireproofing also helps cut down on entry spaces for insects and rodents as it can fill in small spaces and cracks that these pests use for entry into a home or office.

This type of fireproofing is also easy to use on large areas to quickly insulate since it is sprayed on and when working with steel buildings, being able to quickly apply fireproofing is a great benefit as it not only helps conclude construction quickly, but it also means you will not need to reapply as often as traditional fireproofing materials as the foam will stay in place for a longer term. Spray-applied fireproofing on steel buildings can be used internally as well as externally, thus making it ideal for all areas of a steel structure.

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