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