How Can I Know Which Certified Fire-Resistant Ceiling To Use In My Building?
Finding the right ceiling panel can be challenging if you don’t know where to look or what to look for. Whether you want something durable and reliable or just easy to install, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it to make the best choice possible. This guide will help you navigate the many options available and learn which certified fire-resistant ceiling panels are right for your building and your needs.
The Importance of Ceilings
Ceilings may not seem like a big deal, but don’t underestimate their importance. If you have an open floor plan or a ceiling made of concrete or other non-flame retardant materials, you need to ensure that you have fire-resistant ceilings installed before it’s too late.
The type of material used in your ceiling can affect your whole structure. Certain materials are more susceptible to damage than others; when they burn down, they release toxic fumes into the air.
That is why certified fire-resistant ceilings are so important! They resist flames and provide good insulation for your home or office space.
You also need to consider things like ventilation and whether there will be combustible furniture in the room, which could increase your risk for fire. You should also consider what kind of lighting will be going on in the room at any given time.
Whatever decisions you make about these factors will impact how much light gets through the vents in your ceiling and what kind of visibility you have.
Types of Fire Resistance
There are several options available when it comes to certifying a fire-resistant ceiling. You should consider what level of protection you want in your building and how much weight and budget you’re willing to spend on compliance. Here are three of the most common types of certified fire-resistant ceilings:
1) Half-hour rating: A half-hour rated ceiling can withstand fires that last up to 30 minutes before they reach the fire-resistance rating requirements.
These ceilings can be made out of mineral wool or sprayed with a sealant made from materials like quartz and marble dust.
These types of ceilings are typically lower than other options because they have less expensive ingredients. However, these types of ceilings will also offer less protection if you have a larger area to cover.
2) One-hour rating: One-hour rated ceiling can withstand fires that last up to 60 minutes before reaching the fire-resistance rating requirements.
3) Two-hour ratings: A two-hour rated ceiling can withstand any fire duration for at least 120 minutes before reaching the fire-resistance rating requirement for the space.
One of the main reasons people choose this option is because it provides more coverage than one-hour-rated ceilings and has more inexpensive ingredients.
When it comes to pricing, two hours rated ceilings are going to be higher than both one-hour and half-hour fire resistances.
If you need something that can withstand the longest period but still offers good value, then pick a two-hour rated ceiling. Otherwise, one-hour and half-hour fire resistances provide a good balance between cost and coverage.
Choosing the Right Material
While there are many good fire-resistant ceiling materials, some come with disadvantages.
For example, polyethene panels may be easy to install but aren’t too effective against fire and don’t have a long lifespan.
There is also the question of what you're trying to protect. If it's your machinery, then a PVC sheet might be appropriate, whereas if it's something more valuable, such as equipment, then a mineral fibre panel is better.
Mineral fibre panels are also quieter than other types of panelling, which can be an issue in places like schools or hospitals where silence is appreciated.
Polyester sheets are considered high quality and resistant to water, humidity, mildew, mould, salt spray and even insects, making them great for wet environments.
Finally, there is glass wool insulation which has low thermal conductivity. It provides excellent acoustic control, so it's often used in theatres or auditoriums.
Dangers of Wrong Materials
You might have noticed that not all fire-resistant ceilings and products are created equal.
While some are indeed fire-resistant, others are simply meant to be or claimed to be. If you go with a non-certified ceiling, your building could come crumbling down in a fire or even collapse if there’s an earthquake.
You must only use certified materials that pass rigorous fire resistance testing to ensure that both your structure and its occupants stay safe during a blaze or quake. So how can you know which material is right for the job? The most important factor to consider is what level of fire rating you need.
Generally speaking, the more protection you want from a fire, the higher rated it will be. For example, one type of TCA would give you up to three hours of protection from flames, while another type would provide six hours or more.
There are also many types of ASTM E84 Class A materials available, so you can find one that meets your needs no matter what they may be.
As you consider certified fire-resistant ceiling options, it’s important to remember that these are materials and not magic.
A high-quality product is only as good as your maintenance practices and procedures. Here are a few tips for keeping your new material looking its best
- Regularly wash ceilings with water or detergent; avoid cleaners containing ammonia or bleach
- When cleaning walls and ceilings, use wet rags, paper towels or microfiber cloths to avoid leaving behind streaks on the surface
- If a stain remains after cleaning, allow the area to dry, then sand the spot lightly with medium-grit sandpaper.
- Avoid applying fresh paint over dirty surfaces dirt will eventually get embedded in the film and spread when painted over
- Cover unused areas of wall/ceiling with plastic sheeting or other protective covering before painting to prevent staining from paint splatter
- Seal cracks in the ceiling (particularly around pipe chases) with caulking compounds such as House and Home Acrylic Latex Caulk to keep moist air from seeping into your living space
- Consider using anti-microbial coating products like Alumaguard® Interior Acrylic Finish to inhibit mould growth and maintain a healthy indoor environment.
At USGME, you find amazing products like the Paper Backed Diamond Mesh Lath, which meets all the building codes. It is also fire-resistant.