New Spray Foam Insulation Code Requirement
The Town of Hilton Head has started to enforce Section 314 of the IRC and 2603 of the IBC requiring Thermal/Ignition Barriers at spray foam insulation assemblies. All future building plans submitted to the Town of Hilton Head will be required to include Thermal/Ignition Barriers over spray foam insulation in the applicable locations. This was adopted by the State in 2008 and in early July of this year the Town started to enforce this section of these Codes. Since that date the review letters for the plans approval have noted these requirements. Any plans that were permitted prior to this adoption will not include such notes and are thus grandfathered-in without the requirement to include Thermal/Ignition Barriers.
Highlights for New Requirement:
- A "Thermal Barrier" is a material, applied between spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and interior spaces designed to slow the temperature rise of the SPF during a fire situation, and to delay the SPF's involvement in a fire.
- Building codes allow an exception to the Thermal Barrier requirements in attics and crawlspaces where entry is made only for the service of utilities. In these areas, an approved "Ignition Barrier" may be used.
- Building codes may exclude the installation of a Thermal Barrier over certain applications of SPF. Review the specific code requirements on a case-by-case basis.
- Many types of Thermal Barriers are available on the market today including but not limited to: 1. Gypsum wallboard, 2. Spray applied cementitious materials, 3. Spray applied cellulose materials, 4. Portland cement plaster, 5. Various proprietary materials
- Proprietary Thermal Barrier and Ignition Barrier coatings are available from spray foam manufactures and can be applied like paint over the exposed foam to achieve code compliance. These coatings are specific to each spray foam manufacturer and are only code-compliant if the proper coating is used in conjunction with the proper spray foam to achieve a "certified assembly."