flammable materials facade cladding

▷ Flammable materials in the cladding of home facades

Home construction is a complex process that involves the proper selection of materials in order to ensure the safety and durability of the structures. One of the crucial aspects in this sense is the choice of materials for the construction and cladding of the facades, since these can have a significant impact on fire safety.

Next, the risks associated with the use of flammable materials on home facades and the importance and obligation of choosing safer options will be explored.

Risks of flammable materials in facade coverings

The danger of the spread of fire

When flammable materials are used in the construction of home facades, there is a potential greater risk of rapid fire spread in the event of a fire.

These materials can burn easily and generate intense flames, spreading the fire rapidly through the structure and endangering both the lives of the occupants and the integrity of the building itself.

flammable materials in facade cladding

Emission of toxic gases

In addition to the rapid spread of fire, flammable materials can also release toxic gases when burned. These gases can be lethal to people who are inside the building during a fire, making evacuation difficult and putting the health of firefighters or other rescue teams working at the scene at risk.

Legal and regulatory aspects

Fire safety regulations

Given the importance of preventing and controlling fires in homes, there are specific regulations and standards that establish the minimum fire safety requirements in construction and façade coverings.

These regulations may vary by country or region, but their primary goal is to limit the use of flammable materials and promote the use of safer, fire-resistant options.

What the Technical Building Code (CTE) says about it in Spain

The Technical Building Code (Código Técnico de Edificación o CTE) in Spain, introduced in 2005, made modifications in the regulations regarding the materials used in the cladding of facades in relation to the risk of fire.

These modifications were implemented with the objective of improving the safety and fire resistance of buildings.

The CTE establishes the basic quality requirements that buildings must meet in terms of safety and habitability, including specific regulations for fire safety.

According to the CTE, the materials used in façade cladding must meet certain fire resistance classifications and properties to mitigate the risk of fire spread. These requirements seek to improve the overall safety of buildings and reduce the potential for rapid fire spread through the external envelope.

For more detailed and specific information on the CTE regulations for the materials used in façade cladding and their relationship with fire risk, it is recommended to consult the official website of the Technical Building Code.

flammable materials construction facades

Sanctions and legal consequences

Failure to comply with fire safety regulations can have serious legal consequences for homeowners, architects, contractors and any other party involved in home construction.

Penalties can include significant fines, bans on future construction, and even civil liability in the event of personal injury or property damage caused by a fire.

Consequences of covering facades with flammable materials such as polyurethane

Although we were explaining the importance of choosing safe and fire-resistant materials in the construction of home facades, we will now focus on the consequences of coating facades with polyurethane, a material commonly used in exterior coating. Although polyurethane has certain advantages, it also has enormous disadvantages and challenges that are important to consider.

Advantages of polyurethane coating

Thermal and acoustic insulation

One of the main advantages of polyurethane coating is its ability to provide good thermal and acoustic insulation. Polyurethane is a material with insulating properties that helps maintain the interior temperature of the home and reduces the transfer of external noise.

Flexibility and durability

The polyurethane coating is also notable for its flexibility and durability. This material can adapt to different shapes and surfaces, in addition to resisting atmospheric elements, such as rain and sun. This gives it a longer useful life and low maintenance.

Disadvantages of polyurethane coating


The main reason why this material is no longer used in façade cladding is because of its high flammability.

In the event of a fire, polyurethane will burn easily and release toxic gases, which increases the risk to the safety of the occupants and makes fire extinguishing tasks difficult.

It is important to take these disadvantages into account and consider safer alternatives for fire protection.

Difficulties in installation

Another possible consequence of polyurethane coating is the complexity of its installation. Polyurethane requires a specific application process that can be more complicated and expensive compared to other coating materials. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the polyurethane coating is installed correctly to avoid problems such as cracking, water infiltration or spalling.

Environmental impact and sustainability

Environmental impact and sustainability must also be considered when opting for polyurethane coating. Polyurethane is a plastic material derived from petroleum, which involves the extraction and consumption of non-renewable resources. In addition, its manufacturing process can generate toxic emissions and waste. It is important to evaluate more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives for cladding home facades.

polyurethane danger in facade coating

Safe and fire resistant alternatives to fire

Fireproof materials

One way to reduce the risks associated with using flammable materials for home facades is to opt for fireproof materials. These materials are designed to resist fire and have the ability to slow the spread of flames.

Some common examples of fireproof materials are concrete and brick, lesser-known internal elements such as rock wool, or any metal, such as steel, aluminum or iron.

Sandwich panels with mineral core

Another safe and fire-resistant option are sandwich panels with a mineral core. These panels are composed of outer layers of fire-resistant material, such as cement, combined with a core of mineral insulating material that also offers resistance to the spread of fire. These panels are highly efficient in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as being durable and easy to maintain.