Significant changes to the 2018 International Residential Code
The 2018 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2018 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
2018 International Residential Code
A modification to Table R703.8.4(1) (Airspace Requirements) states that the new footnote “c” in Table R703.8.4(1) allows drainage airspace to contain some mortar spills.
The new footnote acknowledges that the required airspace behind brick veneer will never be completely devoid of mortar. Some spillage of mortar occurs as part of the installation. The air space, along with the water-resistant barrier, flashing and weep holes, provides a drainage system to keep the backing and stud walls dry and direct water to the exterior surface.
Historically, architects, engineers, code officials and building owners have recognized the difference between brick veneer with a code-compliant airspace with limited amounts of mortar spillage and one that is blocked by mortar. However, veneer airspace previously deemed acceptable has been incorrectly called into question during litigation after the building has been occupied and is experiencing water damage or drainage issues not associated with the brick veneer system. This clarification explicitly acknowledges that the airspace may contain some mortar from construction as long as the airspace provides drainage.
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