Have you heard of intumescent paint for fireproofing? Fire protection is crucial for the safety and longevity of your buildings, and protective coatings such as intumescent paints can help. Keep reading to learn more about these formulations and find the answers to eight common questions about intumescent paints.
What Are Intumescent Paints?
Intumescent paints are protective coatings that shield building materials from damage during a fire. Professional contractors apply intumescent paints to a construction material’s surface, and the paint offers passive fire protection until a fire occurs. Passive and active fire protection are key elements to preventing damage and injuries during fire emergencies. Intumescent paints help protect buildings across a wide range of industries, including everything from industrial and commercial facilities to residential buildings and homes.
How Do Intumescent Paints Work?
Because they are passive fire protection materials, intumescent paints do not activate until a fire occurs. The elevated heat from the flames causes a reaction that activates the protective coating. This elevated temperature needed to activate the paint usually exceeds 200 degrees Celsius. The chemical reaction causes the coating to swell and char to many times its original thickness. This swelled, charred layer insulates the building materials underneath and protects them from the flames, providing structural protection. By minimizing the spread of flames, intumescent coatings help minimize damage during a fire and provide occupants with more time to evacuate the premises and contact emergency services.
Where Should You Use Intumescent Coatings?
Building designers, contractors, and planners can use intumescent paints on interior and exterior surfaces. In fact, there are even specialty formulas that help mitigate damage from wildfires. The main places where fireproofing coatings are useful are a building’s structural materials. If the building’s beams, frame, and support structure experience fire damage, it can compromise the structural integrity of the whole building. On the exterior of the building, these paints can protect similar structural materials as well as a building’s siding, foundation, and roofing.
Do Intumescent Paints Work Outdoors?
Humidity and strong weather are a challenge when choosing paints and coatings for a home or commercial building. However, as you now know, manufacturers create intumescent paints for both interior and exterior use. With specialty formulations, certain paints can hold up to outdoor conditions. If you live or work in an area with increased risks for wildfires or elevated fire danger, you may want to invest in exterior fire paint. These paints can be especially useful on worksites with increased fire risks, such as welding or construction sites.
What Materials Can You Apply Intumescent Paint To?
Now that you know where you can apply fireproof paints, you might be wondering what materials they are compatible with. There is a wide range of intumescent paint formulations that support an even wider variety of building materials. Intumescent paints can cover and protect everything from wood to steel beams, depending on the formulation. It’s always important to examine the type of paint you purchase for your professional painting and contracting jobs. Make sure you have the right variety of paint for the building you are coating.
Can You Paint Over Intumescent Coatings?
Many new intumescent paint clients wonder if these coatings will impact the aesthetic appearance of their homes or commercial buildings. However, most coatings have minimal aesthetic impact. In fact, you can even seal and paint over many types of fire-retardant coatings. Painting over the coatings can help them blend in with the surroundings of the room or building overall. For example, if you wanted to apply a protective coating around the exterior of your building, you could match a paint to your siding colors. Tips and tricks such as this help preserve your building’s curb appeal while also providing crucial fire protection.
How Long Do Intumescent Paints Last?
Once your house has a professional fire-resistant paint application, the coating provides protection until a fire event or until it expires. However, intumescent paints last prolonged periods before they require reapplication. After sitting for long periods, intumescent paints can deteriorate and lose their effectiveness, which is why reapplication is crucial. The average lifespan of a fireproof coating ranges anywhere from 5 to 50 years, depending on the formulation and application. Always ask the manufacturer and professional painter for a more exact estimate of when you will need another coat.
However, in the unfortunate case that your paints do become active during a fire, intumescent coatings have a protection time of anywhere from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. These specialty 2-hour-rated intumescent paints are ideal for businesses with high fire risks and large numbers of occupants to evacuate. They provide increased protection and safety to comply with building codes.
What Do You Do After Intumescent Paints Activate?
Intumescent paints are good for one use. They provide passive fire protection from the moment you apply them until they char and expand during a fire event. After a fire occurs, address the condition of your building’s intumescent-protected materials with safety professionals. You will need to schedule any repairs to your building, and once complete, you can schedule an application for a new coat of fireproof paint. Always hire a professional painter for your intumescent coating applications to ensure the paint can set properly and provide optimal passive fire protection.
Where To Find Intumescent Paint Products
Now that you know more about intumescent coatings and this form of fire protection, you may have an idea of how this technology can protect your own building. Whether you are interested in intumescent paints for residential or commercial applications, you can find solutions for both at Firefree Inc. We provide superior intumescent paint formulations for both interior and exterior use as well. Browse our selection of fireproofing materials and coatings today to explore the details of each formulation and its benefits.
These are some of the common questions consumers ask most about intumescent paints. However, if you have any additional questions about these fire protection solutions, you can always reach out to our team at Firefree Inc. We can help pair you with the best protective coating for your needs or answer any questions about our formulations. Do not hesitate to reach out to Firefree Inc. today.