If you are building a new home, remodeling a kitchen, or planning to add a garage, have you ever considered protecting your property against a worst-case scenario? What precautions do you have to take for fire safety? Can you do anything to protect your home better than it is currently? You may also wonder whether regular drywall is flammable. Continue reading to learn more about the answer and solution.
Every house painting expert in Livermore, CA will tell you that any type of drywall is fire-resistant to some degree. Regular drywall is made from a non-flammable mineral called gypsum. The gypsum is then sandwiched between two thick sheets of paper. However, not all drywall is created equal.
When do you need fire-resistant drywall?
Fire is a real threat to homes. It can cause devastating damage in only a matter of minutes. A house fire can happen at any time and in any area of a home. Protecting the home against, or losses from, fire is why homeowners purchase homeowner’s insurance.
Here are some of the leading causes of house fires:
- Flammable liquids (usually in garages, kitchens, and utility rooms)
- Faulty wiring
- Smoking in bedrooms
- Open flames such as stove flames and candles
- Curious children (unknowingly playing with matches, for example)
- Barbecue grills
If you seek extra protection for your family and valuable belongings, consider installing fire-resistant drywall.
Fire-resistant drywall (also known as fire-rated or fire-retardant drywall) is designed to slow the spread of fire. It contains fiberglass reinforcement and other materials within its specially-made gypsum core to help it hold up longer against flames. Several manufacturers are making fire-resistant drywall, so be sure to compare the ones available before purchasing.
Fire-resistant drywall comes in two ratings:
- Type X – Type X drywall contains glass fibers and additives to its gypsum core, making it slightly more fire-resistant than regular drywall. It can hold up to flames for up to two hours. It can resist burning for up to two hours when applied in a single layer to both sides of a standard house framing.
- Type C – Type C drywall is pretty similar to Type X. However, its gypsum core contains more glass fibers and other additives, making it superior to Type X. It can stand up to fire for up to four hours. The additional time this type of drywall can withstand can allow firefighters to extinguish a fire and help save your belongings.
Both Type C and Type X measure five-eighths of an inch thick and are approved for use in a 60-minute rated design. They also come with a very smooth and paintable surface. Fire-resistant drywall is a little more expensive than traditional drywall, so remember to include the price difference in your budget.
Where can you install fire-resistant drywall?
Although you can install fire-resistant drywall anywhere in your home, there are specific areas where it is needed to provide optimal protection against fires:
- Kitchens – They are probably the most common areas for house fires due to the presence of appliances such as stoves and ovens. Gasoline, kerosene, cleaning agents, and other flammable products are often stored in kitchens.
- Garages – Vehicles, gasoline, motor oils, and other flammable items are usually stored in garages.
- Bedrooms – Bedrooms are far from the main door or fire exit, making it difficult to escape during a fire. Smoking in bedrooms is one of the most common causes of house fires. Some people fall asleep while smoking, setting their beds, chairs, couches, drapes, or carpets on fire, which can quickly spread.
- Basements – Like bedrooms, basements are far from the main door or fire exits, making escape difficult during a fire. If your furnace or heater is in the basement, you may want to add a layer of fire-resistant drywall to the walls behind them.
- Utility rooms – Utility rooms are often an extension of kitchens. Flammable items such as gasoline, paints, thinners, varnishes, and cleaning supplies are usually stored in utility rooms. In addition, these areas can contain equipment such as electrical panels or water heaters, which can catch fire.
The benefits of using fire-resistant drywall
Using fire-resistant drywall in specific areas of your home can bring numerous benefits:
- It can help save lives.
- It can minimize property damage.
- It can reduce smoke and toxic fumes.
- It can increase property value.
- Some insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners using fire-resistant drywall. Check with your insurance company to see if these discounts apply to your property.
Installation of fire-resistant drywall
As one might expect, installing fire-resistant drywall can be a complex job. If you have installed regular drywall before, you may attempt to install fire-resistant drywall yourself. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the right tools and equipment.
Cut the fire-resistant drywall into appropriate and uniform sizes and shapes like regular drywall. Any electrical outlets, plumbing, or other fixtures should be accounted for when hanging the drywall. Once the drywall is in place, secure it with nails or screws to the studs or framing. Then paint it as you usually would with regular drywall.
However, it is recommended to hire a professional for this job. They have the skills and tools to complete the installation process quickly and efficiently. This ensures that your home gets the maximum resistance against fire.
Important: Fire-resistant drywall is NOT the ultimate solution for fire protection. However, you should install it with other preventative measures such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.
Unsure? Hire a professional!
Fire safety is crucial in protecting your home, yourself, and your loved ones. Using fire-resistant drywall in specific areas of your home can provide many benefits that range from protecting your assets to increasing your property value. With proper maintenance, your fire-resistant drywall can provide dependable protection for years.
If you’re considering fire-resistant drywall for your home but are unsure about installing and painting it, it is best to seek the services of professional house painters near me. They can assess your home, recommend the right type of fire-resistant drywall for your needs, and provide expert installation and painting services.