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colbay 09-13-2012 05:12 PM

Fire Hazard
I live in a top floor apartment and am replacing a damaged floor. It has been suggested that I spray foam between the floor joists to act as a sound dampener and also to hinder the spread of bugs (bed bugs and roaches are a real problem in NYC at present). However, I am concerned about the fire safety of these foam products. Does anybody know if they are inflammable or not?

Daniel Holzman 09-13-2012 05:18 PM

First off, unless you are the owner of the apartment, or are authorized by the owner of the apartment to perform work, you have no business doing anything to the apartment. Second, New York City is notorious for requiring permits for any work. They have special fire codes. If you are not licensed to perform work in New York, and based on your question you are almost certainly not licensed, you have no business performing the work. Leave it to a professional who understands local rules.

colbay 09-14-2012 06:06 AM

Fire Hazard
I OWN the condo apartment and am therefor able to order whatever work I wish. Wether or not I employ a professional is up to me. What I want to know is about the flammability of these products. If they are inflammable then neither I nor a professional is going to do it! Neither our condo board nor managing agent has experience on this matter and cannot advise.

Daniel Holzman 09-14-2012 08:33 AM

The flammability of foam is typically listed by the manufacturer on the fact sheet about the product. Many types of foam are not only flammable, but emit toxic gases when the foam burns. Some foam products include special ingredients to reduce the flammability (the word inflammable is not longer used due to confusion about its meaning) of the foam, the spread rate of fire, or the ignition temperature.

Best to check with the building inspector about the allowable use of foam in your specific application. When I did telecommunications work and we needed to insulate, we often had to use special foam mixtures (expensive) that met building code flame spread rate requirements, as dictated by the building inspector.

colbay 09-14-2012 08:53 AM

Thank you, your last reply and my own research has convinced me that it is an inappropriate product to use for the purposes that have been suggested to me.

Windows on Wash 09-14-2012 05:29 PM

No insulation is going to really stop the dominant source of noise to the lower floors.

In order to do that you need to interrupt the vibrations that are transmitted via the framing.

A little bit of spray foam on the perimeter and where there are gaps is a great idea for bugs but beyond that, it is overpriced as an insulation. I would install a typical batt insulation whether it be mineral wool or fiberglass.

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