24 CFR § 3280.504 - Condensation control and installation of vapor retarders.

§ 3280.504 Condensation control and installation of vapor retarders.

(a) Ceiling vapor retarders.

(1) In Uo Value Zones 2 and 3, ceilings must have a vapor retarder with a permeance of not greater than 1 perm (as measured by ASTM E 96-95 Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials) (incorporated by reference, see § 3280.4) installed on the living space side of the roof cavity.

(2) For manufactured homes designed for Uo Value Zone 1, the vapor retarder may be omitted.

(3) In multi-story manufactured homes, the ceiling vapor retarder is permitted to be omitted when the story directly above is part of the same manufactured home.

(b) Exterior walls. Exterior walls must be provided with a system or method to manage moisture and vapor accumulation with one of the elements in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section. For purposes of the requirement in this paragraph (b), the fire separation wall between each attached manufactured home must be considered to be an exterior wall. See subpart K of this part.

(1) Exterior walls shall have a vapor barrier no greater than 1 perm (dry cup method) installed on the living space side of the wall, or

(2) Unventilated wall cavities must have an external covering and/or sheathing that forms the pressure envelope. The covering and/or sheathing must have a combined permeance of not less than 5.0 perms. In the absence of test data, combined permeance is permitted to be computed using the following formula: P total = (1/[(1/P1) + (1/P2)]), where P1 and P2 are the permeance values of the exterior covering and sheathing in perms. Formed exterior siding applied in sections with joints not caulked or sealed, are not considered to restrict water vapor transmission; or

(3) Wall cavities must be constructed so that ventilation is provided to dissipate any condensation occurring in these cavities; or

(4) Homes manufactured to be sited in “humid climates” or “fringe climates” as shown on the Humid and Fringe Climate Map in this paragraph are permitted to have a vapor retarder specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section installed on the exterior side of the wall insulation or be constructed with an external covering and sheathing with a combined permeance of not greater than 1.0 perms, provided the interior finish and interior wall panel materials have a combined permeance of not less than 5.0 perms. The following need not meet the minimum combined permeance rating of not less than 5.0 perms for interior finish or wall panel materials:

(i) Kitchen back splash materials, less than 50 square feet in area installed around countertops, sinks, and ranges;

(ii) Bathroom tub areas, shower compartments;

(iii) Cabinetry and built-in furniture;

(iv) Trim materials;

(v) Hardboard wall paneling of less than 50 square feet in area under chair rails.

(5) The following areas of local governments (counties or similar areas, unless otherwise specified), listed by state are deemed to be within the humid and fringe climate areas shown on the Humid and Fringe Climate Map in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, and the vapor retarder or construction methods specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section may be applied to homes built to be sited within these jurisdictions:


Baldwin, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Washington, Wilcox.


All counties and locations within the State of Florida.


Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Calhoun, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Wayne, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, McIntosh, Miller, Mitchell, Pierce, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Tattnall, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Ware, Worth.


All counties and locations within the State of Hawaii.


All counties and locations within the State of Louisiana.


Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Issaquena, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Simpson, Smith, Stone, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Wilkinson.

North Carolina

Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender.

South Carolina

Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Dorchester, Charleston, Berkeley, Georgetown, Horry.


Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Colorado, Comal, De Witt, Dimmit, Duval, Falls, Fayette, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Frio, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hopkins, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kaufman, Kennedy, Kinney, Kleberg, La Salle, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Live Oak, Madison, Marion, Matagorda, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Milam, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Refugio, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Shelby, Smith, Starr, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Uvalde, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wood, Zapata, Zavala.

(c) Liquid applied vapor retarders. Each liquid applied vapor retarder must be tested by a nationally recognized testing agency for use on the specific substrate to which it is applied. The test report must include the perm rating, as measured by ASTM E 96-95, Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials, and associated application rate for each specific substrate.

(d) Attic or roof ventilation.

(1) Attic and roof cavities shall be vented in accordance with one of the following:

(i) A minimum free ventilation area of not less than 1/300 of the attic or roof cavity floor area. At least 50 percent of the required free ventilation area shall be provided by ventilators located in the upper portion of the space to be ventilated. At least 40 percent shall be provided by eave, soffit or low gable vents. The location and spacing of the vent openings and ventilators shall provide cross-ventilation to the entire attic or roof cavity space. A clear air passage space having a minimum height of 1 inch shall be provided between the top of the insulation and the roof sheathing or roof covering. Baffles or other means shall be provided where needed to insure the 1 inch height of the clear air passage space is maintained.

(ii) A mechanical attic or roof ventilation system may be installed instead of providing the free ventilation area when the mechanical system provides a minimum air change rate of 0.02 cubic feet per minute (cfm) per sq. ft. of attic floor area. Intake and exhaust vents shall be located so as to provide air movement throughout space.

(2) Single section manufactured homes constructed with metal roofs and having no sheathing or underlayment installed, are not required to be provided with attic or roof cavity ventilation provided that the air leakage paths from the living space to the roof cavity created by electrical outlets, electrical junctions, electrical cable penetrations, plumbing penetrations, flue pipe penetrations and exhaust vent penetrations are sealed.

(3) Parallel membrane roof section of a closed cell type construction are not required to be ventilated.

(4) The vents provided for ventilating attics and roof cavities shall be designed to resist entry of rain and insects.

[40 FR 58752, Dec. 18, 1975. Redesignated at 44 FR 20679, Apr. 6, 1979, as amended at 58 FR 55009, Oct. 25, 1993; 70 FR 72046, Nov. 30, 2005; 71 FR 19639, Apr. 17, 2006; 78 FR 73984, Dec. 9, 2013; 86 FR 2521, Jan. 12, 2021]