The use of plastic sheeting as an essential building material is far-reaching across many use cases in the construction industry, from protection to containment, abatement, vapor barriers, and many more. The application determines the mil thickness, which typically varies from 1 mil up to 100 mil thickness.
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Thinner sheeting is typically used for general use, while thicker sheeting is used for heavy-duty installations, such as in the case of an aquaponics liner. However, the most commonly referenced thickness for construction plastic is 6 mil. In most cases where plastic sheeting building materials are required to meet building and safety codes, 6 mil is the most recommended mil thickness. However, in some cases where it was thought that a 6 mil was sufficient, the code has recently been updated to an increased thickness of 10 mils.
Related Resource: Plastic Sheeting Specifications Glossary – Learn more about which products meet the specifications for your projects.
Construction Projects that Require Plastic Sheeting to be 6 Mil
Industrial plastic sheeting thickness is measured in mils, not to be confused with millimeters. One mil equals 0.001 inches, or 0.0254 mm. Plastic sheeting thickness is measured by its thickest point; reinforced sheeting is measured at the cross-section of the internal grid. Builders and contractors can measure the thickness of their sheeting with a digital thickness gauge. 6 mil sheeting is the minimum thickness considered to be impermeable.
OSHA Project Requirements
To meet the compliance regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), plastic sheeting with at least a 6 mil thickness is required for projects including:
- All Class I Jobs, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
- Before beginning the operation of removing asbestos-containing material (PACM).
- Before beginning the operation of using negative pressure glove boxes to remove ACM or PACM from pipe runs
- Waste bags used to collect ACM waste when using negative-pressure glove box systems.
HUD Project Requirements
To meet the compliance regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), plastic sheeting with at least a 6 mil thickness is required for projects including:
- Lead Abatement: to cover floors, furniture, and HVAC ducts in the work area, construct dust-containing door flaps, and also to cover floors in passageways to and from the work area.
- Housing Waste: Place waste, including glass materials, in heavy-duty plastic bags and securely tape them shut.
- Water Vapor Management: Apply sheeting to the floors and the walls of the crawl space, especially if the floor is soil, to protect the building from water damage and harmful gasses.
Best 6 Mil Plastic Sheeting for Construction
6 mil White Dura-Skrim® Reinforced Plastic Sheeting: meets or exceeds ASTM E-84 standard, Class “A” for surface burning characteristics of building materials. The addition of carbon black and ultraviolet inhibitors increases outdoor longevity.
6 mil Black White Dura-Skrim® Reinforced Plastic Sheeting: a high-strength polyethylene film reinforced with a layer of polyester scrim to prevent ripping and tearing. It is available in black, clear, white, and white/black.
6 Mil Dura Skrim® Fire Retardant Reinforced Plastic Sheeting: meets or exceeds the NFPA 701, test method 2 (large scale), and Class “A” wall and ceiling finish category as given in the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code 101, “Interior Wall and Ceiling Finish Classification” (ASTM E-84-97a).
Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across the construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.