First, a little background to set the stage...
Since the beginning of time, mankind has been captivated by fire; with its power and reckless disregard for humanity often leaving destruction in its wake. Therefore, it is not surprising that as building science evolved, building material manufacturers have searched for ways to combat Mother Nature. At the top of the list are products that can stand up to fire and the damage it can cause to our homes.
Today’s building materials are tested, rated and classified based on how they react when burned (under control conditions) to identify materials that are fit for particular uses, in certain regions, or under special circumstances. The International Building Code (IBC), developed by the International Code Council (ICC), was developed to protect the health, safety and welfare of communities by establishing minimum standards for safe building products.
The IBC recognizes ASTM E84, Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, as one of the standard methods for testing flame spread and smoke development. Specifically for flame spread, the results are expressed as an index value, and those results are then categorized in ranges from Class A to Class C.
ASTM standards are monitored by ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Recognized for their leadership role in the development of international standards, ASTM currently has nearly 12,000 ASTM standards in use around the world with their goal to improve product quality, enhance user safety, and build consumer confidence.
Now, what does all of this technical lingo mean for TimberTech AZEK Deck products?
It’s no secret that TimberTech AZEK is a game-changer in decking. Its unique beauty and aesthetics within capped PVC decking clearly set a new standard for looks and performance. But that’s not all. Based on recent testing, TimberTech AZEK has received a Class “A” Flame Spread Index.
The designation of a Class “A” Flame Spread Index, one of the best ratings possible, means these materials are among the lowest in terms of flame spread. This designation comes at a time when droughts are causing a rash of wildfires and concern is higher than ever about homes being built with safe materials. From January to July 2015, there were 29,374 wildfires in the U.S., which burned 3,111,481 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. This is an increase of more than two million acres over the same time period in 2014. Using building materials that resist flame spread is critical to providing extra security in fire prone areas. TimberTech AZEK's Class “A” index for flame spread means it exceeds the requirements for Wildland Urban Interface areas (WUI) in California and for those communities requiring the more stringent Class A Flame Spread rating, offering invaluable peace of mind for homeowners.
In WUI areas, extensive vegetation is mixed with numerous structures and their inhabitants. Researchers at the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) have found these areas very vulnerable, since brush fire embers blown by the wind cause most fire damage. Their study also found that homes less than 15 feet apart are more likely to burn in clusters as fires spread through combustible fences and decks connected to houses. All TimberTech Deck products have been included on the California Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) approved list of building products, and TimberTech AZEK will soon be added to the list with its Class A Flame Spread Index.
TimberTech AZEK consists of six rich, natural shades with the look of freshly stained wood; however, these boards will maintain their beauty and richness without the need for applying stain. With durability, stain and scratch resistance, TimberTech AZEK is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
So, while this new innovation in decking has been the (ahem) hottest product on the market this year, now it’s even more desirable as it’s covered by a Class A Flame Spread Index.
And that’s pretty cool.
See & Feel the TimberTech Advantage
Our capped polymer and capped composite decking lines combine recycled material with all the beauty of traditional wood.