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3 Reasons to Consider Intumescent Fireproofing

May 15, 2019


If you've never heard of intumescent paint, you might not understand why it is so important in the fireproofing process or the reason behind choosing it for your commercial design project. 

Sometimes referred to as fire-resistant paint, this type of material offers designers and construction teams a chance to add aesthetically pleasing color to certain structures while enjoying the benefit of resistance to high temperatures. Put simply, intumescent paint upholds safety requirements without compromising the aesthetics of your space.

When conventional loose and "fluffy" cellulose fireproofing isn't an option, intumescent paint is a great solution because it is not quite as thick. As a result, it is applied in multiple thinner coats to achieve the final "oatmeal" look. It can also be over-coated by a high-performance paint to better withstand the elements.

Design professionals and engineers specify this product for several reasons. The tenacious bond and coating of intumescent paint allows for ease of use across a multitude of spaces. And the benefits extend beyond these and improved safety measures. Here are three key reasons to consider intumescent fireproofing for your commercial design project.

Reason #1: Intumescent Paint Looks Beautiful on Structural Steel

A nice finish is a primary reason behind why commercial painting companies utilize intumescent paint. After all, if you have to paint something now, why not use a quality material that comes with a whole host of additional benefits? In fact, it is a favorite for those who are refurbishing structures, fixtures, or other projects. It comes in a myriad of colors and works well in both interior and exterior applications.

Intumescent paint is also suitable for use on a wide variety of different material types, such as chipboard, brick, stone, plaster, plasterboard, metal, and concrete. Hardwoods and softwoods like pine, cedar, oak, and beach are also great candidates for fire-resistant paints.

Reason #2: Intumescent Paint Helps Prevent Smoke and Fire Damage

For items made from wood, intumescent paint helps prevent smoke and fire damage from spreading during a devastating fire. It acts as an insulator and expands significantly when exposed to high temperatures reaching around 200–250 degrees Celsius. This helps paint protect structures and fixtures from damage and deformation during exposure to extreme heat. Plus, the protective coat also keeps temperatures lower and reduces the risk of burn spread, which helps keep those battling a commercial building fire much safer.

Of course, intumescent paint is a popular choice for manufacturing industry buildings and warehouses where the chance of a fire is much greater. But it is also key in helping restaurants, offices, and commercial properties protect against the potential effects of a serious incident. Spending a little extra now on intumescent paint could help a company rebuild after a devastating loss later on.

Reason #3: Intumescent Paint Strengthens Certain Materials

Another reason to consider intumescent fireproofing for your building is that it can actually strengthen some building materials. It has proven to prolong the structural life of steel, while protecting the load bearing nature of the material. This largely has to do with protecting the metal against temperature fluctuations, which can cause problems over time. In a commercial building, this is incredibly important.

Example Applications of Intumescent Paint

There are a variety of different ways that intumescent paint is used in commercial design. It can act as a barrier for windows and doors, or it can even be used to give old, exposed pipe or steel a brand-new look. And the extent of application doesn’t just require a manufacturing or industrial environment.

For example, consider a project where an old warehouse with exposed metal work is being turned into retail space or a hip new restaurant. Using intumescent paint not only adds a splash of color for a contemporary appeal, it also strengthens and protects the piece — from plumbing equipment to stairway railings — inside the building. This is a win for both the integrity of the structure and the beauty and design of the overall space.

Contact Cochran & Mann for All Your Commercial Painting Needs

At Cochran & Mann, we can achieve 1-, 2-, or 3-hour fire protection ratings as certified by ASTM E119. And we have specialized equipment and training to accomplish satisfactory results. We are licensed and trained in Isolatek, Albi, Carboline, Sherwin-Williams, PPG, as well as many other products.

In short, intumescent paint is a great choice for commercial settings where marrying safety and beauty is important. This type of paint comes in both a water-based and solvent-based form. The difference between the two usually has to do with the application use, so it is important to work with a professional who understands the various uses and advantages of each.

At Cochran & Mann, we offer a full range of commercial painting and interior design services. We are proud to serve businesses and developers in the Washington, D.C. area and surrounding communities. Contact our friendly and experienced Cochran & Mann team today to learn more and discuss your project needs.

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