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  1. #1
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    Default Window screen requirements?

    Does anyone happen to know a Building Code citation that requires windows to be screened? AND, if so - WHEN that may have been first required?

    I thought I recall something about rodent protection and screening, but I cannot seem to put my finger on the printed word, and I am involved in a discussion with a local contractor that says the Building Code doesn't require window screens. Of course, I say they are required, but have not been able to find a citation to reinforce my position.

    Thanks much - inspect safely -

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    JD,

    From the 2004 FRC.
    - R303.5 Outside opening protection.
    - Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of inch (6.4 mm) and a maximum opening size of inch (12.7 mm), in any dimension. Openings shall be protected against local weather conditions. Outdoor air exhaust and intake openings shall meet the provisions for exterior wall opening protectives in accordance with this code.

    Windows for light and ventilation are "Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors".

    Basically been that way since the first codes, probably going back into the 1920s.

    From the 1994 Standard Building Code.
    - B1205.1.2.6 Windows and other openings for the purpose of light or ventilation located in exterior walls within 2 ft (610 mm) above the existing ground level immediately below such opening shall be covered for their entire height and width, including frame, with wire cloth of at least 0.035 in (0.89 mm) wire having a mesh not larger than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
    - B1205.1.2.7 Windows and other openings for the purpose of light and ventilation in the exterior walls not covered in B1205.1.2.6, accessible to rodents by way of exposed pipes, wires, conduits, and other appurtenances, shall be covered with wire cloth of at least 0.035 in (0.89 mm) wire. In lieu of wire cloth covering, said pipes, wires, conduits and other appurtenances shall be blocked from rodent usage by installing solid sheet metal guards 0.024 inch (0.61 mm) thick or heavier. Guards shall be fitted snugly around pipes, wires, conduit or other appurtenances. In addition, they shall be fastened securely to and shall extend perpendicularly from the exterior wall for a minimum distance of 12 inches (305 mm) beyond and on either side of pipe, wire, conduit or appurtenance.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Thanks Jerry - that was exactly what I needed!!

    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of ¼ inch (6.4 mm) and a maximum opening size of ½ inch (12.7 mm), in any dimension... Windows for light and ventilation are "Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors".
    JP,

    Not a chance. This clearly addresses intake and exhaust systems, such as ventilation or heating. Minimum 1/4 inch and maximum 1/2 inch? That is not a window screen, that is specifically rodent control for openings such as ducting, intake and exhaust. The other two sections that you cited specifically address rodent control, but not window screening. These are two different functions/uses.

    I know what you are going to say. JD specifically mentioned rodent control, but these sections do not address a requirement to have all windows screened. Just those that would be accessible to rodents. I doubt that any of us have seen window screens that have 1/2 inch openings.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Not a chance. This clearly addresses intake and exhaust systems, such as ventilation or heating.

    Nope. I disagree.

    Look it up and read which section and subsection it is in.
    - SECTION R303
    - - LIGHT, VENTILATION AND HEATING
    - - - R303.5 Outside opening protection.

    It is applicable to ALL "outside opening protection" which addresses openings for "air exhaust and intake openings" "that terminate outdoors".

    If an open window, which is REQUIRED for "VENTILATION", is not covered under "VENTILATION", then what is it covered under?

    If that only addressed "mechanical ventilation" it would be in the "Mechanical" section.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    I know a home does have to have heat but not AC. But if it does not have AC it must have operable windows with screens. This is just for ventilation of the home. That kind of puts Jerrys idea in the right but I do also know what Gunners reasoning is.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    JP,

    Just when was the last time that you saw a window screen that had a minimum opening sie of 1/4 inch? The openings in probably every window screen that I have seen (with the exception of torn screens) is smaller than 1/4 inch. That would mean that every window screen installation is incorrect. A 1/4 to 1/2 inch opening would keep out rodents, but would let every mosquito in the area into the home.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    JP,

    Just when was the last time that you saw a window screen that had a minimum opening sie of 1/4 inch?
    Gunnar,

    This is where I go ... OOPS!

    Dang! Double

    JD, I goofed on that one!

    As a partial make up for that total mess up, I believe FHA requires all windows openings to be screened, so, in the code or not, that is required for most houses (all those being under FHA).

    JD, you will need to make that change, otherwise you will look as foolish as I just did. YIKES!

    I'm going to crawl back to my corner now ...

    Gunnar, thanks for the 2x4 upside the head to wake me up.

    Added with edit: By the way, Gunnar, it'd be okay to leave the spikes out of the 2x4 next time, the 2x4 itself is sufficient.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 11-03-2008 at 08:32 PM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    JP,

    I am going to remember this one. It isn't often that I get a chance to see something that you don't. I think that I will copy this location and use it every time you prove me wrong. "Hey Jerry, I was correct once! Remember November 3, 2008?"

    Jerry, I hope you will forgive me for this, but I get to be right so rarely, that I like to wallow in it.

    Mmmm, that feels good!

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    It's a stretch on this one but under the maintenance section of the building codes as far back as 1979 states:

    Maintenance; All buildings and structures, both existing and new, and all parts thereof, shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.

    Without screens you could have insect/varmit infestation.

    I do remember (I think) several years ago there was specific wording in the code for substandard buildings that it would be considered a substandard building if the structure lacked window screens.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    In NC screens are a seasonal item. We are not required to report on there existance or condition by the states SOP. Different story in SC. So it is another case of different strokes for different folks.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    As a follow up - the paragraph that defines what items the Seller is responsible for in the standard Florida Association of Realtor's Purchase Agreement (FAR-9) says: "...that torn or missing screens...will be repaired or replaced."

    The Catch-22 is defining what "missing" is. If the screens were never installed (as in this new construction) then they are not "missing". However, if I could find a resource (code citation, or building requirement) that requires screened windows, then they would be "missing".

    Thanks for all your insight - Inspect safely.

    JD Johnson
    Beach To Bayou Property Inspections

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    missing


    adjective 1 absent and of unknown whereabouts. 2 not present when expected or supposed to be.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Ever notice that most of the windows with lost thermal seals are the upper windows that have no screen protection?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by JD Johnson View Post
    The Catch-22 is defining what "missing" is.
    "missing" = "not installed"

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Way to go Gunnar! You deserve it! lol I love this board I learn new stuff everyday on it, as I just did again. As a new inspector I am so grateful for this place, all you regulars on here are awesome!


  17. #17
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    Post Re: Window screen requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    JD,

    From the 2004 FRC.
    - R303.5 Outside opening protection.
    - Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of inch (6.4 mm) and a maximum opening size of inch (12.7 mm), in any dimension. Openings shall be protected against local weather conditions. Outdoor air exhaust and intake openings shall meet the provisions for exterior wall opening protectives in accordance with this code.

    Windows for light and ventilation are "Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors".

    Basically been that way since the first codes, probably going back into the 1920s.

    From the 1994 Standard Building Code.
    - B1205.1.2.6 Windows and other openings for the purpose of light or ventilation located in exterior walls within 2 ft (610 mm) above the existing ground level immediately below such opening shall be covered for their entire height and width, including frame, with wire cloth of at least 0.035 in (0.89 mm) wire having a mesh not larger than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
    - B1205.1.2.7 Windows and other openings for the purpose of light and ventilation in the exterior walls not covered in B1205.1.2.6, accessible to rodents by way of exposed pipes, wires, conduits, and other appurtenances, shall be covered with wire cloth of at least 0.035 in (0.89 mm) wire. In lieu of wire cloth covering, said pipes, wires, conduits and other appurtenances shall be blocked from rodent usage by installing solid sheet metal guards 0.024 inch (0.61 mm) thick or heavier. Guards shall be fitted snugly around pipes, wires, conduit or other appurtenances. In addition, they shall be fastened securely to and shall extend perpendicularly from the exterior wall for a minimum distance of 12 inches (305 mm) beyond and on either side of pipe, wire, conduit or appurtenance.
    Evidently no one even looked at Appendix F Rodent proofing F101.5 In the IBC


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Window screen requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Boswell View Post
    Evidently no one even looked at Appendix F Rodent proofing F101.5 In the IBC
    Besides being late to the party ... the IBC doesn't apply to one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses.

    One of the best references is the IPMC ... International Property Maintenance Code ... as many areas adopt Property Maintenance / Housing codes based on the IPMC, but ... the IPMC is only applicable if adopted unchanged/unamended, or even adopted - the local code could be totally 'off the wall' and based on really old and/or crazy information.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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