Looking for something to use as a simple unattached 'floor' for on a
fire escape. Needs to be rain-proof of course. A big sheet of 1/8"
aluminum would probably do it, but I have a feeling that there are
cheaper ways. Anyone know of anything?
On Thu, 3 Jun 2010 05:00:35 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc
I presume that PT means "Pressure Treated" and it's the same thing
that is referred to as CCA. The arsenate treatment sounds quite
ominous, but I may be able to get the lumberyard to cut it. I believe
it's $45/sheet for a 4x8, but I'll have to confirm that it's the same
stuff (I was expecting higher cost).
So the stuff won't warp and fall apart when it gets wet, eh? Sounds
good so far, aside from the concerns about water pooling and possibly
Thanks to everyone's recommendations (thanks!), I found this:
It mentions Wolman water repellant:
Anyone know of alternatives? I can't find that locally.
Unattached floor sounds like a really bad idea. Remember, rain has to
go through this thing too. Pooled water can get pretty slippery.
Rushing out of a burning building, slipping on the fire escape doesn't
sound like my idea of fun. ...for the FD, either.
I could get away with enough slant to drain the rain water, but the
existing metal gets very slippery when it's wet. Probably moreso than
the ply surface. Thanks for mentioning that though. Better to address
that before doing anything. I'm sure someone makes some kind of
spray-on texturing compound.
Or if there's a better material that would allow water to drain, that
would be perfect.
Whatever you choose, don't lose sight of the function of a fire
escape. Don't modify a fire escape with anything that is flammable, or
might become slippery when wet, or allow buildup of snow.
A fire escape is NOT a porch for a barbecue and chairs.
Amen to that. Even if the neighbor above doesn't care, the landlord and
fire inspector probably will. Leaving ANYTHING sitting around in an
escape path rates a warning at a minimum, and a ticket if the inspector
is pissed at you. They can even write up flowerpots on the sill of an
egress window next to the fire escape, or furniture blocking access to
There are metal grating made for outdoor stairs. If you ever have to
actually use the fire escape, that couple of bucks can cost you a lot of
problems. Grating can get ice, but it won't get snow buildup on it if you
are in the snow belt. Don't cheap out on life saving equipment.
The snow/ice issue is a very good point. He should also check what
the local codes say is required before spending any money. To get a
metal grate fabricated to size isn't going to be cheap and better to
do it right.
Thanks for the various opinions about this. It appears that some kind
of metal grating would be the best and safest. I figured that I need
two pieces of flat metal plate, perforated or not. If perforated,
they'd need to be relatively small holes, like 1/2" diameter or so.
Problem is that they're odd sizes, so I'd need to get them cut. About
4-1/2 feet square. Is there a good place to mail order something like
If you live in a town with fire escapes that big, there is a metal job
shop somewhere near you. Only question is if they do retail custom work.
A heavy gauge of expanded metal mesh, or any of several different kinds
of outdoor-rated nonskid decking, would do what you needed. Look in
Yellow Pages under fire escapes, scaffolding, industrial supply, etc. It
will be too heavy to mail, or too large. If you do not have a vehicle,
you will need an understanding cab driver, and an old blanket to wrap it
up in. Don't forget to have the fabricator smooth or wrap somehow, any
cut edges. Something that would be easier to get home would be lengths
of pierced steel planking, if you can find any thin enough, and they
have some way to clip or bolt them together to make up larger panels.
On Tue, 15 Jun 2010 22:53:02 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
I haven't found a local sheet metal fab place. There were two close by
but now defunct. Seems to be a trend.
Some vendors on ebay sell large pieces of metal plate with relatively
low shipping charge. That's what implanted the idea for mail order.
But the sellers I checked just had stock sizes.
The keyword "catwalk material" may help. Thanks.
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