Extensions are extremely useful, on residential and commercial properties alike. They can be used to create space for storage, offices, workrooms, playrooms and much more. If your extension has exposed steelwork, you will need to protect it from potential fire damage. Exposed steelwork can either be practical or make an interesting design feature. Although steel is a sturdy material, you do need to implement fire safety measures.
In order to achieve the best results for any paints, coatings or decorative finishes, it’s a good idea to prime the surface. With fire retardant systems it will more often than not be an essential step in the process. Steel can rust over time, so by using an anti-corrosion primer it’s possible to protect the steel or even rejuvenate rusted steelwork. Even if the exposed steelwork in your extension is on the inside, it’s still open to potential damage. Remember; you may need a specific primer tested and/or recommended by the manufacturer of the fire retardant system you choose to protect and decorate the steelwork in your extension.
When it comes to fire protection, an intumescent paint can provide a range of different levels of protection from 30 minutes right up to 2 hours. This protection time gives firefighters time to access and put out a fire and people time to escape the building. It’s possible to use paints that take the hard work out of calculating how much you need to achieve the fire protection you require, making it easier for you to make updates to your extension. Additionally, using a fire protective coating will help to contain the spread of fire. In your extension, think about both the internal and external exposed steel while it’s easily accessible to paint and consult your authority as early as possible in the project. Seeking advice will ensure you protect the right steels to the correct level. Make sure you use a paint that is up to fire standards and meets any building regulations that may apply to your extension.
To decorate and protect your steelwork, it’s important (like the primer) to use a paint which is approved by the manufacturer of the intumescent paint you have chosen. The requirement for a protective topcoat differs from intumescent to intumescent but as a general rule of thumb, any external steel will always require a topcoat and any internal steel that is remaining visible at the end of the project will require a topcoat. Each product in the fire protection system plays its own part – the primer protects against corrosion and provides good adhesion to the steel, the intumescent protects the steel from fire for the length of time required and the topcoat allows the user to achieve the colour and finish required on the steel while protecting the intumescent paint from damage (moisture, cleaning, weather, general wear and tear, etc.).
Combine these three steps to effectively protect the exposed steel in your extension. If you have any questions about making sure your building is protected from hazards such as fire, contact the team at Rawlins Paints to find out how you can make your property safer.