Frequently Asked Questions About Fireproofing Your Insulation

Frequently Asked Questions About Fireproofing Your Insulation

Insulation protects your home from outdoor weather conditions, pest infestations and moisture and mould buildup. But what protects your insulation? Here’s some information about fireproofing your insulation and protecting your home from potential fire threats.

Is insulation fireproof?

The flame resistance of insulation depends on the material. For example, mineral wool and fibreglass insulation are non-combustible. The latter, however, poses a fire hazard when covered with kraft paper or a foil facing. In this case, a thermal barrier must be installed to eliminate the risk.

Although cellulose insulation is made of roughly 80 percent recycled paper fibre, which is highly flammable, it’s treated with fire-retardant chemicals prior to installation. Spray foam insulation, however, ignites at 700 F. Since this is within the temperature range of a building fire, the law requires that spray foam insulation be covered by a thermal barrier.

What is a thermal barrier?

A thermal barrier is most commonly employed as a fire-resistant measure for spray foam insulation, also referred to as polyurethane foam. Despite its efficacy and popularity, this insulation must be covered by drywall, fire-retardant paint or another building code-approved material.

A thermal barrier is designed to protect your home by making the combustible spray foam less vulnerable to fire. A structural barrier, such as drywall, delays the temperature rise of the insulation in the event of a fire. It also delays, or potentially prevents, the flames from coming in contact with the spray foam.

How does fireproofing paintwork?

An alternative thermal barrier is a fireproof paint, such as the DC315 paint used by the contractors at Reitzel Insulation. When the paint is exposed to fire, it expands to protect the insulation underneath. This coating also acts as an ignition barrier, meaning it makes spray foam insulation fire-resistant. This product can only be used in crawl spaces, attics and exposed open wall areas that aren’t accessible.

Can smoke damage insulation?

Unfortunately, even if your insulation survives a fire, it will almost certainly need to be removed and replaced. Since insulation can’t be cleaned, the smoke odours retained in the material will continue to permeate your home unless it’s removed.

Fireproofing services in southern Ontario

To ensure your insulation conforms to building and safety regulations, it should be installed by a professional insulation contractor. At Reitzel Insulation, we offer fireproofing services in addition to insulation installation and removal. To request a free quote or schedule an appointment in the Toronto area, contact us today.


For complex insulation jobs, contact Reitzel Insulation’s certified insulation contractors at 1-800-265-8869 today for more information. We service all over Southwestern Ontario, including Kitchener-Waterloo, Burlington, and surrounding areas are known for our professionalism, our 5-year workmanship warranty, and our second-to-none project clean-up procedures.


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