How Critical the Process Is, Understanding the Codes
Building codes vary between countries and from state to state. When making any kind of addition to an existing structure, or even changing the inside of that structure, building codes should be checked before any actual construction begins to ensure everything that is planned is compliant with the area's laws.
In this blog post, I focus on the importance of “trusting” the process and “following” the process when it comes to following proper building code when installing polymeric siding, accessories, soffit and fascia.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
I-Codes Impacting Polymeric Cladding
- International Residential Code (IRC)
- International Building Code (IBC)
- International Energy Conservation Code (Energy Code)
- International Wildland-Urban Interface Cde (IWUIC).
- National Building Code of Canada (NBCC)
- Florida Residential Code (FRC)
- Florida Building Code (FBC)
Installation Requirements - Polymeric Cladding
- IRC - In general, vinyl and insulated vinyl siding are installed 16" on center using roofing nails, although variations are allowable including other approved fasteners like staples and screws.
- IBC - Prescriptive requirements for vinyl siding installation include that non-corrosive roofing nails that can penetrate the nailable substrate at least 1 1/4" must be spaced no more than 16" for horizontal siding and 12" for vertical siding and according to the manufactured installation instructions.
- IECC - The IECC prescribes insulated sidings as a building material that can be used as a form of continuous insulation outside of the building framing to provide the required total wall R-Value.
- IWUIC - Polymeric cladding is allowed for use under this code in all conditions with certain performance requirements.
- NBCC - Prescriptive requirements for the installation of vinyl siding, insulated vinyl siding and polypropylene siding. Nails shall be a minimum of 38 mm long and spaced no greater than 400 mm, and all fasteners shall be installed in the center of the nail slot. Fasteners must be installed into a nail-holding base with a minimum depth of 32 mm or into framing.
- FRC - In general, vinyl and insulated vinyl siding meet the wind loads in accordance with Table R301.2(2) and R301.2(3) when installed 16" on the center using roofing nails, although variations are allowable, including other approved fasteners like staples and screws, when following manufacturer’s instructions. Prescriptive requirements for vinyl siding installation include that noncorrosive roofing nails that can penetrate the nailable substrate at least 1 1/4" must be spaced no more than 16" for horizontal siding and 12" for vertical siding and according to the manufactured installation instructions.
- FBC - In general, vinyl siding and insulated vinyl siding are installed 16" on center using roofing nails, although variations can be done including other approved fasteners like staples and screws. Prescriptive requirements for vinyl siding installation include that noncorrosive roofing nails that can penetrate the nailable substrate at least 1 1/4" (although the code currently states 3/4") must be spaced no more than 16" for horizontal siding and 12" for vertical siding and according to the manufactured installation instructions. (1405.14.1). In Florida, 1405.14 limits vinyl siding, unless shown to be able to perform, to 40-foot buildings.
Post Installation - Inspect Your Work
- Products certified through the VSI program go through tests and checks to ensure compliance, so the installation should, too.
- Look for the new VSI Product Certification Mark on the box.
- Panels should move freely, from side to side.
- Panels should be fully engaged and locked with each other.
- Corrosion resistant fasteners should have been used.
- Fasteners should be in the center of the nail slot and penetrate at least 1 1/4" inch into a nailable substrate.
- Fasteners must have a space of 1/32" (about the thickness of a dime) between the fastener head and cladding panel.
- No sealant (caulk) should have been used in the installation process except in very specific instances when using certain types of flashing applications.
- Confirm that vinyl soffit is fastened at both fascia and wall ends.
- Where the unsupported span of soffit panels is greater than 12" in coastal areas and 16" in non-coastal areas, intermediate nailing strips should be installed.
- Reminder: Do not use j-channel in place of starter strip.
“If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance.” – Paul McNulty
Looking for an at-a-glance breakdown of the codes, performance indicators and regional installation requirements for vinyl, polypropylene and insulated exterior cladding products, check out the Polymeric Cladding Building Code Reference Guide here!
It STILL Is and WILL Always Be About the Details
Proper installation and proper product specification are always critical when ensuring successful results for exterior cladding products.
I always say, if you don’t know, ask, or go take a look. If you have any questions about the processes referred to in this post, download or order a copy of VSI’s Installation Manual and remember, all vinyl siding installations must conform to local building codes. The local code may also require that the installation conforms to the siding manufacturer’s instructions.
As I have noted in previous posts, in life and business, it’s the little things that usually add up to be big things. Sometimes this is achieved in daily improvements and other times as larger tasks that turn into big outcomes. Don’t wait until the post-job inspection to find out the hard way.
Call or e-mail the VSI – we are here to support you!
Want to get certified, or are you up for certification renewal? Check out our Careers and Training Page here!
We also have a great Basics of Installation program for your office, sales and warehouse staff.
Want to get more involved in the industry or learn more about building the life you want? Click here for more information!
Be Resilient – Add Value – Stay Healthy - Trust the Process!
To your success,
“Coach” Rob Balfanz
Director, Workforce Development