Architectural  Coatings

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions we receive from our clients. Please contact us directly if you have a specific question that is not addressed here.

Q: Why are the UL designs submitted different from the ones on the plans/prints?

A: UL designs are specific to the manufacturer and material being used and must match the material being used.

Q: What is a Spray-Applied Fire Resistive Material (SFRM)?

A: In the past, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) defined product classifications as "Cementitious Mixtures" or "Sprayed Fiber" materials. These product classifications have been withdrawn and combined to form a new single product classification called Spray-Applied Fire Resistive Material (SFRM).

The term "cementitious" often misleads design professionals to believe that the product contains cement, when in fact, most commercial density fireproofing products called "cementitious" do not. Ironically, most of the materials that were included in the "Sprayed Fiber" category, actually do contain cement. Many SFRM manufacturers now categorize SFRMs as either "Wet Spray" or "Dry Spray" materials. These terms better describe the manner in which the material is mixed, conveyed and applied.

Q: Must the roof be completely finished before the fireproofing is applied?

A: In short, YES, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q: What is an Intumescent Coating?

A: Intumescent Fire Resistance Coatings are paint-like coatings that expand and char in a fire to insulate structural steel for up to 4-hours. Thin Film Intumescent Coatings, such as CAFCO SprayFilm, give Architects the ability to design using structural steel that can be decorative and aesthetically pleasing. Intumescent Coatings can be top coated to match their surroundings and allow steel to be left exposed to view while providing the necessary fire resistance ratings.

Q: What do I do with painted / primed steel?

A:  The coating must be identified prior to fire protection. Some manufacturers have tested a wide array of paints / primers on wide flange beams and columns for compatibility with our fireproofing products. A painted/primed beam or column must achieve 80% of the manufacturer's published bond strength on a clean uncoated 1/8 inch thick plate when tested in accordance with ASTM E736; the beam flange must not exceed 12 inches; the column flange must not exceed 16 inches; and the beams and column web must not exceed 16 inches. If the painted/primed members do not meet all of the above conditions, mechanical reinforcement (metal lath, steel studs) must be fastened to the substrate prior to fire protection.

Please contact our office to see if the primer that was utilized on your project is tested.

Q: Can A/C Ducts be installed prior to the Sprayed Fireproofing?

A: No. This can inhibit access to joist, steel beams, and deck. Fireproofing must be able to be sprayed straight on to the steel or adhesion & cohesion may not properly take place.

Q: How long does it take the Fire Proofing material to dry?

A: Fire Proofing material can take anywhere from 14 to 28 days or more to fully cure depending on the thickness and environmental conditions. Adequate ventilation is a necessity, especially when sprayed in enclosed areas.

Q: How do I determine thickness?

A: Thickness of the fire protection material is dependant upon the assembly in which it is being applied. The following basic information is required for the estimator to determine the proper Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) assembly.

  • Type of deck and depth of metal deck
  • Type of topping on deck (i.e. concrete or insulation type and thickness)
  • Beam sizes supporting deck
  • Type of column and column sizes

Once an assembly is determined and a UL Design is selected, the design will list the proper thicknesses required. The adjustment for various beam and column sizes can be found in a W/D Thickness Manual.

Please contact our Technical Department for additional help on this issue. 727-821-9600

Q: What is the significance of ICC-ES Reports?

A: International Code Council-Evaluation Services (ICC-ES) does technical evaluations of building products, components, methods and materials. The result of the evaluation process is the issuance of a report on code compliance. These reports are made public free of charge to contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers and other professionals with an interest in the building industry and construction.

The ICC-ES evaluation reports provide evidence that the products and systems meet code requirements. These reports insure code compliance, simplify the code approval process and may help to alleviate the liability burden on the local authority having jurisdiction to review and approve the submitted fire protection materials. The official website of ICC Evaluation Services, Inc. is