Life safety plays a vital role in the design of buildings in today’s modern construction. Sprayed-on fireproofing systems provide a cost-effective approach to meet the hourly ratings required by local building codes and insurance companies. Fireproofing systems provide up to a four-hour rating on structural members, helping to prevent steel from collapsing during a fire.
Fireproofing is a passive form of protection that is always ready to protect the steel and ultimately lives in the event of a fire. Passive systems are constantly in place as opposed to active systems, such as sprinklers, which are required to activate before they perform.
Spray-applied fireproofing products are the most common types of fireproofing materials. Spray-applied fireproofing can either be cementitious fireproofing (typically gypsum-based, wet mix formulation) or sprayed fiber fireproofing (mineral wool fiber with a portland cement-based binder, dry mix formulation).
Spray-applied materials come in standard density for concealed applications and medium or high density for exposed applications where the fireproofing is constantly subject to abuse and/or moisture.
Intumescent coatings are becoming increasingly popular for achieving a fire rating on exposed structural steel. Intumescent fireproofing are thin film coatings designed for exposed applications where appearance is of primary importance. This fireproofing comes in solvent- and water-based formulations and provides up to a three-hour rating on beams and columns.
These coatings can be used for interior and exterior fireproofing applications, providing the owner and architect with an aesthetically pleasing way to fireproof structural steel. The product can be top-coated with a tinted coating to match almost any desired color.
Made from a mixture of cement or gypsum, plus other materials like sand that act as an aggregate, cementitious fireproofing products offer strength and durability reminiscent of concrete while being light enough to spray into place. Installed in several layers, cementitious fireproofing provides an extremely heat-resistant coating to beams, columns and other structural steel elements.
While it is very strong, cementitious fireproofing can crack with expansion and contraction, similar to concrete, plus it is porous and the space between the coating and the steel structure can provide a place for moisture to collect. This makes cementitious fireproofing best for use in indoor spaces, where moisture will be less of an issue. For moisture-prone areas, intumescent coatings may be the better choice.
Made from mineral wool or fiberglass fibers combined with materials like sand, perlite or vermiculite, plus a cement or gypsum binder, sprayed fiber fireproofing offers excellent protection for steel beams, steel columns, structural concrete, wall surfaces, and more. It is lighter than cementitious products while providing similar performance. Once it cures, it offers a strong, durable coating.
Due to its fiber content, sprayed fiber fireproofing also offers some insulation and air-sealing capabilities. This makes it ideal for sealing small cracks and gaps in the outer envelope while simultaneously providing a passive fireproofing layer.
To learn which coating will be the best choice for your needs, talk to our experts at Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing. We can discuss your application and project specifications, as well as your budget requirements, and we can recommend the best fireproofing solutions for each area of your commercial facility.
We offer a wide range of fireproofing and firestop solutions, and we will work diligently to make your business as safe as possible.
Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing has been in the fireproofing business since the early 1980s. We have fireproofed projects throughout the Southeast (from Virginia to New Mexico), Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing has a separate fireproofing division staffed with industry experts to provide budget pricing, timely and competitive quality bids, code assistance and solutions to any of your fireproofing needs. Our field organization includes highly trained applicators who specialize in installing fireproofing materials. Rely on Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing for your next fireproofing project.
Many spray fireproofing products can be coated with a thin layer of latex paint to improve the aesthetic appearance. Check with the manufacturer for recommended coatings and preparation information. At Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing, we can recommend the best spray fireproofing solutions to protect your commercial facility while maintaining its appearance.
Yes, moisture can cause damage to most spray fireproofing products, especially cementitious or fiber-based coatings. They should not be installed in areas that are exposed to moisture or standing water. For recommendations about the best fireproofing products for moisture-prone areas, talk to our team.
For improved adhesion and proper curing, it is important to thoroughly clean structural steel before the fireproofing is applied. An appropriate cleaner or solvent should be used to remove grease, oil, dirt, rust, and mill scale, and if the product requires it, a compatible primer should be applied. Talk to our Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing team to learn which preparation steps are recommended for your spray fireproofing project.
Most spray fireproofing products will require 14 to 28 days to fully cure, depending on the temperature and humidity at the installation site. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to determine the best conditions for proper curing, or talk to our team.
Yes, you can paint intumescent coatings to match their surroundings. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine which types of paint are compatible and the necessary preparation steps.
Yes, for the best results, all grease, oil and dirt should be removed, then a compatible primer should be applied to bare metal and other surfaces before an intumescent coating is installed. To learn more about the preparation steps necessary for our intumescent coatings, talk to our team at Alpha Insulation & Waterproofing today.