Fire retardant coding for structural beams

Customer decided they like the look of our natural framing, after we headed off a wall…

Is there a recommended coating to put on before natural finish, in terms of fire retardant?

I imagine there are codes that govern what may and may not be used. You should consult your local fire authority.

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There are clear fire retardant coatings available. As Steve B said you would need to check with your local building and fire authorities to find out what’s required and or allowed depending on your exact use case.

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It’s a highly local case. Where I live products used for fire safety have to be certified and tested. Coatings are usually certified for use in an industrial process, not on site. Usually coatings work by expanding to a foam when heated, so even if clear, the coating needs to have a certain thickness, and the certification often prevents other finishes from being applied on top.

And the intumescent particles can leave a grainy finish.

Here in the UK, if a member is big enough, you can often get away without fire retardant coatings in dwellings because the charring protects the timber from burning through quickly and you normally only need a half hour resistance for escape purposes.

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We use intumescent varnishes when specified for architectural millwork and do not have any problems with the finish. This is always on KD lumber. I wonder if the moister content of the beams will be an issue?

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About intumescent coating, there is a recent and rare skyscraper example in London : The Leadenhall Building with exposed steel structure protected agains fire by specific “paint”.

In the same time, the code is more permissive in UK.

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