Combustible Building Material Types and Fire Damage Repair in Chicago, IL

Building fires are one of the most-devastating disasters that homeowners and businesses can encounter. Most buildings sustain large losses after a fire, and without professional restoration help, the recovery can be a long, arduous process. ServiceMaster DSI offers comprehensive fire damage repair in Chicago, IL for all cases of large scale fire damage, from soot removal to reconstruction.

While there is often an undeniably critical amount of damage left from a fire, the building itself may affect the way a fire burns and the severity of the losses. This is largely due to the type of material making up the bulk of a building. The NFPA categorizes building materials into five types, determined by their combustibility.

Type I (Fire resistive): These high grade fire-resistant materials are used in most high-rise buildings. This type of building material (for example, concrete) can either resist extreme conditions of combustion or it has been treated with a fire resistant coating (for example, most steel structural beams).

Type II (Non-combustible): These materials are resistant to fire in that they cannot combust; however, they can melt or lose structural integrity when exposed to high heat. Shopping centers and large public buildings often use non-combustible materials like steel rafters in construction.

Type III (Ordinary construction): Row or mass housing, older buildings, and some newer homes often use these common types of building materials. These materials, such as brick and mortar with wood frames, are not completely resistant to fire nor are they strictly non-combustible. Rather, they’re a mixture of resilient materials and design-based materials. Buildings constructed with ordinary materials are often cost-effective and sturdy, but can sustain more damage than Type I and II buildings in the face of a fire.

Type IV (Heavy timber): Community-based buildings such as temples, churches, and town halls are frequently built using heavy timber. While heavy timber is combustible, it burns much more slowly and can withstand higher heat than other types of wood-based construction.

Type V (Wood frame): As the most combustible type of building material, wood frames sustain the most damage under the duress of fire. Most ranch style homes, small one-story apartments, and other single-family residential buildings are built with wood frames.

If you’ve experienced a fire in your home or business, contact ServiceMaster DSI at 773.282.1110 for fire damage repair in Chicago, IL.


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