Out of all of the articles we could write, I hope that this one gets to the people who need to hear it in time. When it comes to choosing the correct firestopping product to resume the integrity of a fire-rated assembly, “If you have any question at all, call before you install.”
As someone who has spent the last last 25 years manufacturing firestopping caulk for a living, I have seen many costly mistakes resulting from misapplication or improper product selection. Almost all of these mistakes could have been avoided. If you are reading this and have ever supplied the wrong product to a job, installed the wrong product, or installed the right product incorrectly, I’m sure you’ll agree that few things are more stressful than when an entire job is held up because of a firestopping issue.
Some common mistakes include:
- The use of one of our ASTM-E136 tested fireblocking caulks or orange-colored fireblocking foam in a fire-rated multi-family or commercial application. The ASTM-E136 spec and fireblocking foam products are for fireblocking non-rated single-family penetrations.
- Bond breaker tape was not installed behind our Firestop-814+ to buffer the joint to prevent three-point adhesion. Three-point adhesion may result in cohesive joint failure.
- Using backer rod in place of mineral wool, or not using any backing material at all.
Regardless of the scenario, these mistakes could have easily been prevented by remembering the most important phrase of all when it comes to firestopping: “If you have any questions at all, call before you install!”
Preplanning your work with firestopping requirements in mind will hopefully lead you to a quicker, easier, and more efficient installation. Although firestopping seems complicated and super technical, most of it is as simple as knowing where to look for information, following directions, and (again) calling before you install.
As part of our vision of the Caulk Talk newsletter, we’re here to supply you with the information and resources you need to help sharpen your Caulkologist’s skills so that you do the job right the first time. Whether you are a purchasing agent for a supply house, an outside or counter salesperson, trade contractor, general contractor, inspector, or architect we pride ourselves on being your trusted source of technical information and application support for all of your firestopping, sealant, and adhesive questions.
Our website is full of resources, including our online firestopping certification class, caulk yield calculator, and technical specification center. If you give us a call, a live team member will be ready to answer your questions or recommend the correct product for your application. You can rely on Caulk Talk, our website, and the Everkem Team to be the glue that holds your project together. We will do our best to make firestopping and sealant/adhesive science fun, easy, and profitable.
But remember above all else, If you have any questions at all – please, please… please CALL BEFORE YOU INSTALL!