“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers
STI Firestop has recently invested in ongoing training for their employees in a number of areas. Even after employees have attained satisfactory understanding of the tasks they are required to perform, additional training may be beneficial, if not required. Nothing stays the same forever, and the construction industry is no exception. That is why on-going training to improve skills is essential for our organization’s success.
I am proud to work for a company such as STI Firestop who show, by our actions, that we are not content with “just sitting on the right track”.
Below is an email I received as a follow-up to yesterday’s curtainwall spray demonstration about the importance of packing mineral wool, or fire-safing tightly and neatly from our Quality Assurance Manager, Chris Demarco.
One of the topics we discussed with regard to spray is how the quality of the mineral wool install affects the spray application. Mineral wool that is uneven, has gaps, etc. could pose issues for the spray after the contractor moves on to other areas or even leaves the project.
During application, the spray could bridge these gaps and look acceptable. However, as it contracts while drying, gaps and openings could develop in the coating. This is due to the product shrinking from to water evaporation. Essentially, the spray pulls itself apart at these mineral wool gaps!
I attached (below) a photo of the install we did yesterday. This is the area Bill (Seely) intentionally roughed-up to show how difficult it is to apply spray over poorly installed mineral wool. We really couldn’t see the issue (gaps) in the spray coating then, but it became apparent after the spray dried over night. This is obviously not a product issue, but an installation issue related to the mineral wool.
It is important to remember that all water based sealants experience some degree of shrinkage. Sprays are much more susceptible to gaps and openings developing due to mineral wool install (or other factors such as movement before drying, etc.) because they are applied at such a thin coating.
Great information Chris… this is what information sharing is all about… and remember, pack your mineral wool tight and clean.