Western North America is on fire again. This fire map tells the story. This blog discusses (1) Air Quality, (2) Fire-Suppressing Nanoceramic Coatings, and (3) the use of better and smarter building systems.
As I write this, there are over 800 forest fires across Canada and 1830 square miles alight or burned in Oregon. 1000’s of homes, businesses, and livelihoods are likely to be lost. Countless wildlife and habitats will be destroyed. This now yearly cycle will remain until …? I believe this tragic pattern has no end in sight. We have friends and family who have lost everything in fires. We’ve heard their stories firsthand and experienced some of their pain.
With this in mind, we have been speaking with our talented technicians and suppliers. They have recommended a wide variety of solutions. Some are in the developmental stage, while others are very proven, in use, and available NOW. I am going to cover three areas: (1) Air Quality, (2) Fire-Suppressing Nanoceramic Coatings, and (3) the use of better and smarter building systems.
Let’s start with Air Quality for your home
Why breath smokey or toxic air INSIDE your house? This is an easy problem for us to solve. We are Sanuvox distributors and have access to their full line of incredible products. We can ship these items anywhere. These come as standalone and in-line systems. Your local technicians will have no problems installing the inline systems. Three Sanuvox products come to mind, and so does one of ours.
The Sanuvox R MAX is a whole-home unit, designed for homes up to 4000 square feet of heated or cooled space. The Sanuvox R Max represents an evolution in UV for whole-home air treatment. It is a Best-in-class UV Air Purifier and Odor Removal System. The high-efficiency patented design destroys airborne bio-chemical contaminants. In other words: smoke. The Sanuvox SR MAX is similar but designed for homes up to 2000 square feet. Both units are designed to install into and enhance your existing system and greatly improve your air quality. One of these is going to being installed in our house very soon.
For those needing a more portable system, we recommend the Sanuvox P900-GX.
Commercial Air Disinfection Systems
If you need large volume air disinfection and purification, the Sanuvair® S300 VOC & Sanuvair® S1000 VOC SMOKE REMOVAL units are perfect. These systems are ideal for bars, smoking rooms, casinos, game rooms, cannabis smoke shops, and cigar rooms. Beyond these, we have a wide variety of air disinfection & surface sterilization systems we can discuss with you. Contact Us Here.
A number of our staff and friends work in the film and music industries. Sets and sound stages are notoriously difficult to provide sanitized and purified air to. On-set air quality is always a concern. We spent a year researching this and recently released our answer: The AEROSAUR. This is a beast of a sterilization system and is an industry first, providing sterilized air SILENTLY to the workspace.
“An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure”
This is an old expression but so true today. We carry an extensive line of military-tested commercial-grade nanoceramic coatings. These coatings are sprayed or rubbed onto the surfaces they are designed to protect. These work at the nano (microscopic) level. They bond to the surface they are applied to and become part of the surface. They fill in the nano-vortices (the nook & crannies) and provide a smoother surface.
We really like the BL205 and BL205AM nanoceramic coatings. The AM version contains strong antimicrobial properties that will inhibit the growth of all kinds of algae and fungus protecting the surface, helping the wood last longer (fire or no fire!). These coatings are designed to be sprayed, wiped, or rubbed into wood surfaces and provide fire retardant capabilities. In simple terms, this coating reduces the chance of the structure catching fire. It binds with the wood fibers, coating and protecting them. It is easy to apply and bonds immediately soaking into the surface. These surfaces require occasional touch-ups, but the first coat provides a remarkable amount of protection. The general advice with this product is to apply it until the materials stop absorbing. Then let it dry and rub it down.
We sell this by the pint, quart, gallon, or larger. To calculate the amount required, you will first need to understand the number of square feet of surface you will be coating and protecting. We can then work with you from there.
Fire Proofing Coatings
Our chief chemist is working on a coating designed for flat surfaces (roof, car firewalls, engine compartments, boat hulls, etc). The product is in the latter stages of testing but is looking really good. A recent test was performed on an aluminum roof, with the coating being just 1/8th” thick. Amazingly, the coated surface withstood a 3600oF heat source on one side of the surface and measured just 180oF on the other. We hope to get this to market later this year and will have videos etc before then.
As a nation, we seem to have maintained the pioneer mentality of building with available resources. As a nation, we continue to follow the same patterns. “Wood is plentiful”. “Wood is cheap”. Well, until the last few years of fire it was. Millions of acres of trees are now cinders. Supplies are tight. It is these same fires that consume our modern-day “log cabin” structures.
The town of Paradise, CA that was burned badly in 2018 is on fire again. New houses are now at risk. Some new homes have already experienced fire three times. This is crazy. Year after year after year we keep rebuilding homes in these forested areas with materials that can not survive. Gutters fill with needles and leaves. These out-of-sight combustible materials ignite, setting fire to sub-framing or shingles. They also get sucked into the soffits and up into the structure, causing the house to burn from the inside out. Similarly, wind-blown fire embers collect on window ledges and door frames. The results are catastrophic.
Albert Einstein’s quote is sadly so appropriate: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Building materials exist that will survive these types of fires. We have assembled them into almost fireproof, incredibly insulating, breathable non-toxic, AND affordable building panels. These are easy to assemble making the cost of building (or rebuilding) incredibly inexpensive as well as rapid.
Our assembly is simply encapsulated within code-approved framing. In other words, to get different results, build differently.
For example: When we add our basalt volcanic rock fiber mesh to the structural panels and stucco plastered with breathable natural BioLime or super strength Geopolymer cements, the resulting structure will last. This is essentially the stuff they built the Pantheon and those buildings in Rome with. These structures are still standing thousands of years later. Yes…that stuff. You have choices.
We are also reviewing different types of roofing materials that will NOT combust. Ultimately, there is only so much we can do, but we are trying to get sensible and practical solutions to market.
Development and Refinement
We are still working on developing these panels and are building test structures right now. The panels are fire and bug-resistant and have incredible insulation properties. We’ll know soon. We believe this to be an answer and the change in building technology needed for fire-prone areas. Stay tuned. Or contact us and let’s talk.