Today we are going to shine a light on new innovations to code-compliant fire stopping solutions. We think the industry can do better than fire caulk, and we think the fire rated drywall accessories Trim-Tex has rolled outare the replacement folks have been looking for. These solutions are more reliable, last longer, and are far easier and quicker to install. And when it comes to that last factor, it’s going to be hard for anyone to outpace Fire Gasket, which is able to fireproof walls 5 times faster than traditional methods.
What is Fire Gasket?
If you look at a piece of Fire Gasket already installed, it may not look like much to you — just a wide vinyl profile and a bubble gasket. But that bubble gasket is key to providing an unbreakable seal along the head of wall, with a ton of protection against building movement (a full one inch for Fire Gasket 1, and an inch-and-a-half for Fire Gasket 1.5).
Flip Fire Gasket around and you’ll find the keys to why this thing’s so efficient. First, there’s the intumescent tape that expands to 30 times its size when exposed to heat — the innovative technology that makes all these fire rated drywall accessories such powerful firestopping tools. Below that is a strip of factory-applied foam tape, a powerful adhesive that, in most cases, is all you need to apply Fire Gasket to your head-of-wall assembly.
Add all these individual pieces together and you get a firestopping solution (tested according to UL-2079 5th edition) that will stay flexible, stay effective, and stay strong for the entire lifetime of the wall assembly.
How to install Fire Gasket to fireproof walls 5 times faster
It’s hard to overstate how easily installed this foolproof little drywall accessory really is.
Importantly, Fire Gasket is unique in that you can apply it to the head of wall long before you even start hanging the drywall. (This is going to really come in handy in fluted deck assemblies — the kind you’d find in office buildings, hospitals and so on, which need a lot of wiring within the ceiling system — but you can also use Fire Gasket on concrete.) So not only are you going to be able to work faster by having a simpler install process, but without the drywall there to stop you, you’ll be able to move freely throughout the jobsite with a ton of natural light coming in, speeding up the whole process immeasurably.
To install Fire Gasket and fireproof walls 5 times faster, just remove the backing paper from the adhesive foam tape (see above photo), compress that bubble gasket hard against the head-of-wall joint, and then press the vinyl firmly against the framing member to make sure the adhesive sticks. (Optionally, you can always use framing screws to mechanically fasten the accessory, but again, the tape should be all you need.) Then, when you’re ready, hang your drywall, and there you go — properly installed, the bubble gasket provides a tight seal with all the deflection your walls need, and the intumescent tape ensures your head-of-wall joint is ready to prevent the passage of smoke, fire and noise.
Compare that process to the more finicky fire caulk: a time study conducted by CEMCO Steel found that, where the average installer could apply anywhere from 300-400 feet of fire sealant or spray a day, they could install 2,000 feet of Fire Gasket in a single day. If time is money, that’s a lot of money saved.