Fires are more common in the winter as people try to stay warm in their homes as much as possible. Homeowners all around the US mostly use drywall for their interior finish. This, therefore, begs the question, in the case of a fire, what becomes of the drywall depending on the type of drywall supplies used?
It is important for you to know the difference between the fire ratings for various drywalls and areas to address so that the fire resistance can last longer. It’s important to know the percentage of water content in the fire-rated drywall and regular drywall as it helps in the resistance of the fire.
Regular drywall from a drywall supplier has 21% of water emitted as steam during the fire. Though this slows down the spreading of heat from one side of the drywall to the other, it eventually collapses and the flames continue to circulate. On the other hand, fire-rated drywall is made of glass fibers that will help in maintaining the structural integrity of the panel for longer periods. More layers of fire-rated drywall means more strands and material to help slow down the spreading of flames. Below are the fire ratings for different drywalls:
- Standard half inch drywall- This is used to for shielding living spaces from utility areas. It usually offers basic protection at lower costs compared to Type X drywall and has a fire rating of 30 minutes.
- Type X drywall- Also known as USG, is treated chemically to increase the fire resistance strength. Compared to the standard drywall, it has fiberglass and a denser core that protects it from going down fast when the temperatures are too high. Usually, the panels are five-eighth, slightly thicker than standard half-inch and have a fire rating of one hour.
Additional factors that determine your home’s performance in a fire
As mentioned above, the fire-rated walls give you a head start when it comes to protection from fire in your homes. However, the drywalls are effective at controlling the fire but will not last for long periods. Therefore, you should also take a look at other factors that might influence your home’s performance in case of a fire.
One of the factors that you should consider is the flooring of the house. Wooden floors are known to add to the strength of fire; both make a great team. One should, therefore, consider options such as tiled floors or even concrete floors that are less fire-friendly.
When it comes to doors in your home, you should look at doors that are fire resistant and that can create time for escaping the fire. Standard hollow-core doors are good conductors of fire and therefore don’t offer much protection against fire. You should look for doors that are fire resistant such as hollow metal doors that can resist fire for 20 to 90 minutes.
You can reduce the escalation of fire using fire-rated drywalls, but this is just a hazard-control; it doesn’t cure the disease. As such, you should always monitor the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in the house from time to time to ensure they are functioning well. Always ensure your chimney is clean if you use wood. Whenever possible, you should have fire drills and have assembly points to know how to cope with fire in case it occurs.