90% of homes and buildings are destroyed during a wildfire attack by embers or firebrands. These can enter gaps as small as 2mm or 0.0787”*, and in the United States, vents are commonly identified as key entry points.
That is why having an appropriate vent mesh can protect your build today, tomorrow and 50 years from now. Vents come in many sizes and materials but whatever mesh you select it must be suitable for the job.
Mesh for vents need to deliver as a minimum the following:
- Stop Dangerous Embers from entering vulnerable areas in a building
- Be non-combustible, corrosion resistant and heat resistant
- Be strong enough to stop rodents from damaging the vent
- Allow airflow pass the vent to ensure circulation
The International Wildland Urban Interface Code (IWUIC) specifies the minimum requirements for building in areas that are subject to Wildfires. The table below shows the “Built to Pass” or IWUIC requirements compared to the “Built to Last” of best practices from IBHS, CAL FIRE OSFM (Low-Cost Retrofit List), etc for vents.
Effectiveness Testing of Bushfire Mesh at the University of Southern Queensland with their Ember Shower Simulator
When you consider the average home costs are several hundred thousand dollars ($100,000’s) then using a “built to pass” material rather than a “built to last” material really doesn’t make sense. This is especially the case when the vent material is used to protect roof penetrations and are boarded up behind drywall, and very challenging to access in the future. Most ember and flame resistant vents are less than a few hundred dollars ($100’s) and leading companies supply their products with 1/16” mesh because they have tested it and they know it is more effective than 1/8” mesh.
You have a choice under the IWUIC not to install “Built to Pass” but to install a product that is “Built to Last”. Building owners will thank you for choosing “Built to Last” and Inspectors will recognize the quality and the lasting decision.
Make your choice of “Built to Last”
Call Bushfire Mesh on 512 333 2330 to discuss all your ember protection requirements.
*Based off research from NIST
**(Cut from a 50’ roll and excluding freight and install)