Whether you are building a new home, remodeling your existing house, or simply want to ensure your family and possessions are as safe as possible, you want to make sure you’re protected against the worst-case scenario– a fire. The problem, perhaps, is that this is all you know. As you begin to look at products within the industry, it's easy to get overwhelmed and confused.
What is an Ignition Barrier?
By definition, an ignition barrier is designed to stop a perceived hazardous material from igniting. This means the ignition barrier is intended to provide protection from fire in areas where your spray foam insulation is installed, but where entry is limited. They are designed to be installed to provide a ~5 minutes rating to the area, thereby protecting the area from open flames while the fire department tackles the fire.
When is an Ignition Barrier Needed or Useful?
An ignition barrier is a material that has been added to make the insulation unable to ignite. Because you'll be spraying it, you'll be able to get it in areas that are otherwise difficult or impossible to reach. This includes places like the attic and crawl space. It's important to point out that these attics and crawl spaces may not contain storage of any kind in order to be appropriate for this type of barrier.
Another consideration is access to the attic. Should there be a situation where the attic is accessed through a full-sized door, which is decked or partially decked, this would most likely need to be treated as an area ill suited for a thermal barrier and requiring a thermal barrier instead. Again, it comes down to the intent to use the space.
Before you start your project, it’s important to do your research to ensure the material you use meets local, state, and federal code while keeping your home comfortable, energy-efficient, and healthy. As a simple example, the 2015 Michigan Residential Code R3202.10.1. says that in order for a product to be Class One Fire Rated, the insulation has a smoke development that is less than 450 and a flame spread index that is 25 or less. Where you live may have different specifications and we encourage you to either learn what they are on your own or contact us for help.