What I'm Seeing Now

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While In The Men's Room A Home Inspector Always Looks Up!

One of the unwritten codes in the Men's Room is that you don't look down, but while in the Men's Room a home inspector always looks up! 

What did this home inspector see?

Structural steel fireproofing!

Oh, sure, like I'm going to believe YOU don't look around and inspect things when you go places.  Like the restroom.

This was my first visit to Nationals Park and I was looking around!

Yes, I really look around!  Even in the Men's Room!

That fuzzy stuff is structural steel fireproofing.

Steel structures have to be made more resistant to fire, especially when in a confined space.

Even steel is not immune to the effects of fire and heat of specific temperatures and duration.

Fire can actually severely damage steel.  No, it does not burn.

With enough heat and time, as temperatures approach 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, steel can deform and lose as much as 50% of it's load-carrying capacity!

All load-bearing steel must be covered.

The material isn't fuzzy at all - it is a plaster with a gypsum base.  It is sprayed on with a thickness designed to protect the steel for two hours without any structural deformation or damage.

That renders the steel into a condition called Thermally Restrained.  

And this has been known for a long time.

Surprisingly the first codes in this regard were established in 1918!

The code is written in ASTM E119 (UL 263).  While materials have changed over the years, the basic requirements of this code have changed little!

It also determines the thickness and density of the spray, and the various levels of hourly fire restraint it should provide.

Stadiums are heavy things!  And they hold a lot of weight!  Even huge, thick steel beams can be subject to deformation and sagging!

Certainly resistance to twisting or sagging and load-bearing ability has to be established and protected!

So, the next time you are at the stadium, using the restroom, look up!  You might just see the same fuzzy stuff shown here!

And, I understand, it tastes like chicken.

My recommendation:  a home inspector is always on the job.  Even when taking time off for a baseball game.  I assure you, he can't help it!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 40 commentsJay Markanich • April 27 2013 04:50AM

Comments

Who knew..it looks like insulation...and not much in the wow of the decor department hmmm ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) about 5 years ago

That fuzzy stuff used to be mixed with asbestos. I hear that tastes like fish. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 5 years ago

What S&D?!  That's the stucco look of the 80s all over again!

Jim - I think that's why they went to the asbestos-free version - chicken is much more popular.  We had a good time last night.  My brother came into town and I picked him up early afternoon.  The last baseball game we went to together was the 1969 All Star Game in DC!  (blog tomorrow...)  Didn't get home until really late last night.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Thanks goodness you got to see a Nationals WIN!!

I recall the day many years ago when a home inspector let me in on the little known (by consumers and some agents) that wooden beams were far more fire resistant than steel beams.

Over the years, I've sent many home buyers to the Internet to verify that fact. 

Don't see much in homes build in the past 20 years with anything but steel.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

WOW! Who knew!! There is so much to learn here on Active Rain ... I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by The Temple Team, Specializing in Lake Norman/Charlotte/Charleston (THE TEMPLE TEAM) about 5 years ago

Wood burns at a lower temp than steel deforms Lenn, but bare steel deforms more quickly.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

What do you mean you don't look down? what about the foundation....just kidding....lol

WOW! interesting facts about fire proofing with the fuzzy stuff...thanks for sharing.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold on Bob" (CB Stagecoach ) about 5 years ago

Kent - glad you enjoyed it!

I don't want to see what's on the floor Bob!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I guess I never gave it much thought, but I would not have guessed it was for fireproofing.   I was in a parking garage the other day and all the beams and pillars were covered in a sheetrock type substance.   Honestly never thought about tasting it.  Maybe next time. 

Posted by Richard Wilson, Town or Country, in Colorado, we do it all. (Cherry Creek Properties, LLC) about 5 years ago

That's what it was Richard.  And life is about experiences - you have to taste life!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

So you're saying that they spray chicken up there? :-)

Be careful looking up there too intently... you just might wet your shoes!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay.... and real estate agents should take a page out of your book and keep their head in the business even when not in the office.... one never knows who they will meet who wants to sell....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 5 years ago

That's exactly why I don't look down Fred...

Barbara - it's truly a curse!  I can't get away from it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Paying attention to everything around you can keep you from getting mugged in the rest room.  Don't get caught in no way out locations.

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) about 5 years ago

The task at hand...always important but sometimes advertising at eye level can get your attention too. One more way to get advertising impressions. Capture some eyeballs for a short period of time while the kidneys are emptied. From too many early morning coffees. And you are levitating.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

It was after the game Richard!  There were a million people in there with me!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Not sure what I would be advertising Andrew.  But looking at the structure always gets my attention!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

I worked with a developer and everywhere we went, he would always admire construction...I thought he could literally see thru walls

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 5 years ago

You learn all kinds of things on Active Rain. Now I have to look up to see what you are talking about.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 5 years ago

I tried looking up and I just pee'd on my good shoes.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker ABR, GRI (Windermere/lane county) about 5 years ago

That is experience combined with understanding Richie!

Cheryl - now that you have seen this blog, you will notice this stuff even on the highway!

Rob - and after all these years, it would seem to me you could do it even in the dark...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

I see this when completing a final inspection on commercial properties. Not many use this type of fireproofing here. Most wrap the steel in a 5/8 or 3/4 sheet rock and finish it. But this is a better way when exposed to the elements and moisture. Especially when they pee up. LOL

Have a great day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 5 years ago

I always look around to see anything unusual in the Homes and Building.  You are right you do see interesting things on the ceiling.

Posted by Keith Lawrence, ABR, CDPE, SFR, 203K Specialist (RE/MAX Properties) about 5 years ago
Most commercial spaces will have a finished ceiling so that folks won't see the structure above. So, yes, stadiums and the like are the best places to view spray on fireproofing.
Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) about 5 years ago

Not sure the ASTM considered pee Clint!  But maybe ... do you think they peed in 1918?

Keith - the downside is we miss money on the floor.

Mark - it's there is office buildings too, but once they are finished you can't see the spray.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

A good example of this is the time it took the World Trade Center to collapse from the fire due to the jet fuel. When the temperature reach a critical point, and could not support the floor above it began to collapse in the pancake one floor at a time until it reach the ground.

Jay you got the first rule right don't look down, but you misssed the second rule "No Picture taking".

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) about 5 years ago

I have found that friends and family members who are in the building or construction industry always "inspecting" places they walk into. When I see them open a door or cabinet for no good reason, I know just what they are doing!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 5 years ago

Unfortunately I could not resist taking a photo Chuck.  But nobody disapproved!

Sheri - it is truly a curse!  I can't help myself!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

When I visit the men’s room at the ball park it is out of necessity and not to evaluate the construction…or anything else.

 

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) about 5 years ago

Necessity is the Mother of Invention, John!  I just invented a second thing for you to do while in there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Always on the job.  I am going to look up in a lot of building, that I normally admire  the design

Posted by Susan Jackson (America's Network Realty Group, Inc) about 5 years ago

I admired the design too Susan!  But here I was looking at the quality of the treatment!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay - You just reminded me of my grandfather. When I was in Junior High School he drove me to school one morning. As he pulled up to the curb and looked at the building he started shaking his head. Then he told me that the building was poorly constructed - it wasn't on the square.

Yes - my grandfather was a building contractor. His crews built many school buildings, supermarkets, etc.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 5 years ago

Taste like chicken does it?  I'll have a bite after you take the first one :~).  Have a great Sunday Jay

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 5 years ago

That about sums it up Marte!  He couldn't help himself either!

James - then you're on.  I sprinkle that stuff onto salads.  I love the smell of gypsum in the morning.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Do you ever stop working?

Thanks for the upward photos Jay.  :)

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay. I think I will forgo the taste test even if you say it tastes like chicken...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Better up than down Tom...

Life is about experiences Michael.  Get with the program.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, Have seen a lot of the fire coatings. Like you state steel needs to have some sort of fire coating. That is what happened to the Twin towers. They were designed to take a plane hit but not designed to take the amount of Jet fuel that would get injected that caused the steel to loose it strength due to the intense heat.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Which is why they crashed into them with a fully-loaded, trans-continental plane Don.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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