Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is combustible, producing thick smoke and flammable gases as it burns. These gases can also ignite, resulting in a flashover. Given this, the International Building Code (IBC) mandates that a 15-minute thermal barrier or “Alternate Approved Covering” be used to separate SPF from a building’s occupied interior. There is an exception to this thermal barrier rule; however, in unoccupied crawlspaces and attics where the entry is solely for the purpose of servicing or maintaining utilities. In these cases, an ignition barrier alone is required. In both cases, the mandate is a matter of public safety.
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