Spray on Fireproofing: Is Damage Permitted?

Must damaged fireproofing be repaired or will limited damage be permitted in the completed construction? Construction operations often damage fire protection products installed at the start of a project. Spray-on fireproofing is installed immediately after the structural steel is erected. Then the fireproofing is removed to install hangers needed for ductwork, piping, conduits, ceilings, and countless other products.

Researching this question for an architect, I could not find anything from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that permits any acceptable percentage of missing fireproofing. So, I contacted our trusted W. R. Grace Monokote product representative, Michael Giardinelli, CSI, CCPR, to confirm what is permitted. He reported that no code or standard allows the integrity of spray fireproofing to be relaxed.

According to Michael installers typically order additional material to patch damage caused by other trades. The patches are installed by spray or by hand to repair the damage, depending on the size of the patch. The damaged fireproofing must be repaired to comply with the fire resistive design assembly.

AIA's MasterSpec® and ARCOM's SPECTEXT® master specification systems both recognize the need to inspect and repair fireproofing damaged by other trades. By these specification systems, the contractor is responsible for inspecting and repairing the fireproofing to ensure its integrity. Otherwise the exposed portion of the steel can quickly transfer a fire's heat through the member, potentially causing premature structural failure during a fire.

Be sure to specify inspection and repair. Then enforce the requirement to ensure the structure will protect both the occupants and the firefighters during a fire.

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