These fiberglass reinforced plastic panels are strong, flexible, and will not mold, mildew, rot, or corrode. When evaluated according to ASTM E-84, they have a Class C grade for flame spread and smoke formation and give outstanding resistance to mild chemicals and moisture. The glass fibers in the panel make it extremely resistant to heat so it can be safely installed in areas where wood trim might burn if exposed to flames.
However, because of its flexibility, it is not recommended for use in areas where glass breaks easily, such as on roofs without protection or in windy locations. Also, because it's made of resin and glass, it cannot be used as a heat barrier. Finally, like any other material, FRP panels can cause serious injuries if used in an unsafe manner. Consult an architect or engineer before installing this type of material in your home.
Here are some tips for using fiberglass reinforcement products safely:
Follow all safety instructions included with your kit. These include rules about where not to install panels and how to protect yourself while working with the materials.
Use only certified professionals to install fiberglass reinforcement products. They should be trained in their use and know how to avoid exposing themselves to harmful substances while on the job site.
Don't install fiberglass reinforcement products over existing roofing materials unless specified otherwise by the manufacturer.
Resistance to fire Fiberglass insulation, which is made of sand and recycled glass, is naturally noncombustible and will stay so for the life of the product. It does not need any further fire-retardant chemical treatments. Fiberglass insulation comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can be used in the walls and ceilings of homes to protect them from heat and smoke damage.
It may appear that way, but fiberglass insulation is actually made of microfibers about one-tenth the width of human hair. These fibers are woven together with resin to form a mat or block that's cut into pieces and wrapped around an object such as a wall or ceiling cavity. The resin itself isn't dangerous, but it can release toxic gases when it melts or burns. This is why it's important to follow manufacturer instructions not to burn or melt fiberglass insulation. When it burns, fiberglass produces dense, white smoke that can lead to asphyxiation if you're living with air conditioning or heating equipment inside the house.
If you have any doubts about whether fiberglass insulation should be removed before you repair or replace wiring or other parts of a house, then don't worry about it. The material is noncombustible, and its resistance to fire means that it won't cause any problems for most repairs.
FRP or fiberglass-reinforced paneling is water-resistant and robust, and it works well in laundry rooms and bathrooms. Any space with FRP panel installation is simple to clean and difficult to stain. The only maintenance needed for FRP is a wash every few years with a mild detergent.
The best way to keep water out of your home is with a good roof. However, if water does get into the attic, it can cause extensive damage to wood framing and insulation. Attics are not designed to be airtight compartments, so they must be ventilated. A poorly vented attic can lead to rot and mold growth which can spread to other parts of the house.
If you live in an area that experiences significant rainfall, then having an eaves trough along the edge of your roof to collect runoff is recommended. This will help prevent flooding inside the house. Eaves troughs should be at least 18 inches deep and should be emptied at least once per year. Leaving debris in the trough can block its flow and cause it to overflow.
Elevators are becoming more common in high-rise buildings. These devices raise and lower people from one floor to another. They're useful when there's no access through a staircase because those who use the elevator would otherwise have to climb dozens of flights of stairs.
While the fiberglass reinforcements used in corrosion resistant laminates do not burn, the majority of thermoset resins used as the matrix for "FRP" laminates do. When fire is supported by an outside source, even "fire retardant" polymers will burn furiously. Unsupported combustion produces very little heat.
As long as you don't get any burning liquid or vapor on any exposed surfaces, your chances of serious injury from a fire are relatively small.
The main danger from fire lies in its ability to quickly spread from one place to another. This can happen when fire reaches an open window, door, or gap in roofing material. The heat from the fire can cause other materials to melt or boil away, allowing the flames to travel down adjacent corridors or floors.
If you live in an area that experiences hot and dry conditions, such as a desert or a subdivision with brick or stone exteriors, it's important to be aware of the risk of fire. Although most fires are caused by smoking materials, unextinguished cigarettes (or cigars) may cause minor burns which could lead to more severe problems if exposed to heat or smoke.
There are several products on the market designed to protect furniture and other large items from damage due to fire.
Fire-resistant glass windows, concrete, gypsum, stucco, and brick are among the greatest fire-resistant construction materials. In addition, steel frames with fire-resistive coatings, self-closing doors, and fire-rated walls and floors add protection. The amount of time it takes for a building to burn is important. If a building's contents can be removed without endangering life, then fire fighters can concentrate on putting out hot spots instead of searching through rubble. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides guidance on how to make buildings more fire resistant.
Fire-resistant design requires consideration of many factors including heat, mass, toxicity, and visibility. Glass that will not break when exposed to heat must be used in fire-resistant designs. Window manufacturers have developed specialty glass for use in fire-resistant windows. This glass is designed to break away from the window frame or other support structure if exposed to sufficient heat for an extended period of time. The special glass should be rated by either the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Fire-resistant construction methods use materials or techniques that reduce the risk of fire spreading or allowing flames to enter.