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Barriers to Foam Insulation Fire Hazard

The Journal of Light Construction has an article posted November12, 2012 discussing foam insulation products and code requirements for ignition and thermal barriers. The Icynene Corporation has announced a new open cell foam product, Icynene Classic Max, which can be used without adding an ignition barrier or a thermal barrier that will be a great aid to those insulating tight attic spaces. There are other products like this available but many still require an added barrier to at least slow a fire down when it happens.

Thermal barriers that are put up over polyurethane spray foams between the insulation and a living space are there to slow the fire from finding a new source of fuel. These are usually easier to install as there is some room to work in an area like this. In those harder to get to areas, like crawlspaces, that can’t be used as a living space you can use a thin steel sheet, plywood, particle board or some other form of barrier to keep flames from touching the foam directly.  These spaces can have a spray coating that bubbles up when high heat is present to form a flame retardant surface over the foam.

Insulation is a big part of many remodelers’ business in the winter and it is good to have some help when you are in attics and putting up those drywall barriers. The article does warn though to trust only in the ICC-ES report and not just advertising on a particular product in order to ensure that you are up to code when using these coatings. 

Contractor’s Solutions has many different pieces of equipment, like the Bil-Jax DL 100 %’ TO 10” Drywall lift, that can help make this job more manageable.  Visit our website today to take a look at all our lifts, hand tools and tool organizers to choose the best ones for your company.

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