Fire-retardant plywood is a great way to increase a building’s safety. Treated with chemicals that create a physical barrier to flame spread, this type of wood can provide an additional layer of protection to structures in the event of a fire. One popular type of fire-retardant plywood is Pyro-Guard®, a specially designed building material for interior building applications.
What Are The Uses Of Pyro-Guard® Plywood?
Pyro-Guard® is a type of pressure-impregnated, fire-retardant treated lumber and plywood for interior use and enclosed structural applications. This type of wood is strength tested after prolonged exposure to moisture and high temperatures in order to verify its strength characteristics when it is used for roof systems and other applications.
It can be used for a range of applications, including rafters, roof trusses, floor sheathing, studs, interior beams, stairways, platforms, steps, mezzanines, plywood roof sheathing, plywood subfloors, wall sheathing and electrical panels.
Advantages Of Using Pyro-Guard® Plywood
Working with Pyro-Guard® treated wood does not require the use of any special tools or skills. It can often be used in place of non-combustible materials without impacting the building’s classification. Pyro-Guard® roof decks and trusses may help a masonry wall building to qualify as non-combustible for the purposes of insurance.
Using Pyro-Guard® wood partitions in place of untreated partitions may allow for greater square footage as well as a reduction in insurance rates. It is commonly accepted by building codes for storefront, partition walls, and roof construction in shopping centers.
Because Pyro-Guard® is impregnated at high pressure deep into the wood, it offers permanent protection; coatings, in contrast, can only offer superficial protection.
When wood that has been treated with Pyro-Guard® is exposed to fire, water vapor and non-combustible gas are produced. At the same time, a layer of protective char is formed that slows combustion and insulates the wood from further damage. This also allows the building to maintain its structural integrity longer during a fire, providing more time for inhabitants to escape.
This wood can retain its structural integrity for a longer amount of time in the presence of fire than other types of building materials, such as steel, thereby minimizing fire damage as well as repair costs.
The smoke that is released by Pyro-Guard® has undergone extensive testing and is no more toxic than the smoke that is released by untreated wood.
Pyro-Guard® treatment allows the wood’s natural color and texture to remain intact. Although raised grain might occur, particularly on sanded plywood, this can be easily remedied with further sanding. It can be finished or painted but must be fully dry and clean prior to finishing.
Pyro-Guard® Wood And Code Compliance
Pyro-Guard® was the first fire-retardant treated wood to receive a code compliance report based on its high temperature testing for framing and roof sheathing.
It meets the flame spread requirement of all building codes of 25 or less in the extended 30-minute ASTM E-84, the “standard test method for surface burning characteristics of building materials.” Wood that has been treated with this process contains an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) classification mark to identify it.
UL Evaluation Report ER7002-01 was issued for Pyro-Guard® confirming its compliance with International Building Code, while U.S. UL Evaluation Report ER7002-01 contains conditions of use as well as strength adjustments for applications such as roof framing and sheathing.
How To Store Pyro-Guard® Plywood
Like untreated wood, Pyro-Guard® wood must be kept dry to protect it. The top of the bundle should be covered, and the material needs to be stored under shelter with the bundle elevated slightly to avoid contact with the ground and to allow for air to circulate around it.
Roof sheathing must be covered as quickly as possible following installation. If this type of wood becomes wet during construction, it must be allowed to dry before it is enclosed or covered with roof material.
Ventilation And Air Flow Is Required
Roof systems need adequate airflow to stop moisture from building up within the wood. Building owners or builders need to ensure that the ventilation of this wood meets or surpasses the requirements outlined in the relevant building codes.
Limitations Of Pyro-Guard® Plywood
Although Pyro-Guard® plywood can be used in a broad range of applications, there are a few limitations to keep in mind. This type of wood is recommended for use in interior applications that are enclosed and will not be exposed to dampness, wetness, or high humidity. Although it may be used in contact with masonry or concrete, it must be above grade and not vulnerable to dampness or wetting.
Learn More About Pyro-Guard® Plywood From The Experts
If you are interested in giving your next construction project the benefits of Pyro-Guard® plywood, get in touch with the friendly wood experts at Curtis Lumber & Plywood for advice and information about working with this material and ordering the right types for your project.