THERMAL & IGNITION BARRIERS

Latex Paint

Kansas Spray Foam Insulation offers latex paint coating over the top of SPF insulation and Thermal Barriers, as appropriate. A word of warning: Latex paint is NOT a thermal or ignition barrier.

Thermal & Ignition Barriers

What is Thermal & Ignition Barriers?

IGNITION BARRIER: A protective coating over SPF insulation (foam plastic insulation) that is only allowed in attics and crawlspaces with limited access. This coating will increase the time it takes for the SPF insulation to become involved in a fire.

THERMAL BARRIER: A protective coating over SPF insulation (foam plastic insulation) that is designed to slow the temperature rise of the foam during a fire situation and delay its involvement in the fire. Thermal barriers coated over SPF insulation must meet the following 2 standards: (1) limit the average temperature rise of the unexposed foam surface to no more than 139°C (250°F) after 15 minutes of fire exposure complying with ASTM E 119 or UL 263 standard time-temperature curve; and (2) will remain in place for 15 minutes based on a small room corner test.

Are Thermal or Ignition Barriers Always Required?

Yes, absolutely. If you put spray foam insulation in a building, it needs a thermal barrier or an ignition barrier.  The thermal or ignition barrier is what keeps the combustible SPF insulation from the flames.  That’s what separates it from the occupied spaces. The International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) both include requirements for thermal barriers and ignition barriers.

When are Ignition Barriers Allowed Instead of a Thermal Barrier?

According to the IRC and IBC, an attic or crawl space needs an ignition barrier over the spray foam if the space can be accessed but will not be used for storage or auxiliary living space. You don’t need an ignition barrier if the space cannot be accessed without cutting into it, if it is not connected to other spaces, and if it does not communicate with other spaces.

What Materials are Used as Thermal and Ignition Barriers?

IGNITION BARRIER:  1.5″ mineral fiber insulation, 1/4″ wood, 3/8″ particleboard, 1/4″ hardboard, 3/8″ drywall, and 0.016″ corrosion-resistant steel and other ignition barriers may be approved by building code authorities if they pass tests as outline in ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria 377, Appendix X.  LaPolla’s Foam-Lox FLX 500 is an approved spray polyurethane product with an ignition barrier built in. Click Here to read the product data sheet for this product.

THERMAL BARRIER: ½ inch gypsum wallboard, specifically.  All approved thermal barriers must meet a 15-minute fire test.  IFTI, Inc.’s DC 315 meets these requirements.  Click Here to read the product data sheet for this product.   For more detailed information on Thermal Barriers, please read the document below and/or refer to the IRC and IBC building codes for more information on Thermal and Ignition Barriers.