Steel is known for being an excellent commercial building material, and part of its strength lies in its reduced flammability. Compared to other common commercial building materials, like wood and vinyl, steel seems pretty fireproof. However, being fire resistant isn’t the same thing as being fireproof.
Is Steel Fireproof?
In short, no. Steel is fire resistant, but it will sustain heat damage at high temperatures. Once it starts to get damaged from heat, it will totally lose much of its structural ability. Steel loses a whopping 50% of its ability to hold up weight when temperatures climb above 1,100 degrees. Since structural integrity is so important to commercial buildings, a total collapse or major structural damage often occurs once temperatures get hot.
Fireproofing Your Steel Commercial Building
Luckily, there are several ways that you can fireproof your steel commercial building. Start by planning out the fireproofing steps you’re going to take from the start of your construction project. Utilize fireproof coatings and fireproof insulation to majorly amp up your fire protection. These fireproof coatings should be used all over the building including the roof, walls, and floors. Any coating that you decide to use should be classified as protecting metals up to 1,000 degrees or more. The most common fireproof coatings include:
- Intumescent spray film that can be easily painted to match the rest of your building’s walls
- Endothermic coatings like wool or ceramic fibers that help to absorb heat
- Mineral insulation that can easily withstand wear and tear and temperatures up to an amazing 2,000 degrees
Over time, fireproof coatings will need to be re-applied and strengthened. Even if your steel commercial building is fireproof on the day the ribbon is cut, it might not be up to the task in 10 years.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience with design, installation, service, and inspection of residential and commercial fire protection systems. We service clients throughout the Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.