The International Property Maintenance Code® (IPMC®) establishes minimum requirements for the maintenance of existing buildings through model code regulations that contain clear and specific property maintenance and property improvement provisions. This 2018 edition is fully compatible with all of the International Codes® (I-Codes®) published by the International Code Council® (ICC®), including the International Building Code®, International Energy Conservation Code®, International Existing Building Code®, International Fire Code®, International Fuel Gas Code®, International Green Construction Code® , International Mechanical Code®, International Plumbing Code®, International Private Sewage Disposal Code®, International Residential Code®, International Swimming Pool and Spa Code®, International Wildland-Urban Interface Code®, International Zoning Code® and International Code Council Performance Code®.
The I-Codes, including this International Property Maintenance Code, are used in a variety of ways in both the public and private sectors. Most industry professionals are familiar with the I-Codes as the basis of laws and regulations in communities across the U.S. and in other countries. However, the impact of the codes extends well beyond the regulatory arena, as they are used in a variety of nonregulatory settings, including:
•Voluntary compliance programs such as those promoting sustainability, energy efficiency and disaster resistance.
•The insurance industry, to estimate and manage risk, and as a tool in underwriting and rate decisions.
•Certification and credentialing of individuals involved in the fields of building design, construction and safety.
•Certification of building and construction-related products.
•U.S. federal agencies, to guide construction in an array of government-owned properties.
•“Best practices” benchmarks for designers and builders, including those who are engaged in projects in jurisdictions that do not have a formal regulatory system or a governmental enforcement mechanism.
•College, university and professional school textbooks and curricula.
•Reference works related to building design and construction.
In addition to the codes themselves, the code development process brings together building professionals on a regular basis. It provides an international forum for discussion and deliberation about building design, construction methods, safety, performance requirements, technological advances and innovative products.
This 2018 edition presents the code as originally issued, with changes reflected in the 2003 through 2015 editions and further changes developed through the ICC Code Development Process through 2016. A new edition of the code is promulgated every 3 years.
This code is intended to establish provisions that adequately protect public health, safety and welfare; that do not unnecessarily increase construction costs; that do not restrict the use of new materials, products or methods of construction; and that do not give preferential treatment to particular types or classes of materials, products or methods of construction.
The International Property Maintenance Code is kept up to date through the review of proposed changes submitted by code enforcement officials, industry representatives, design professionals and other interested parties. Proposed changes are carefully considered through an open code development process in which all interested and affected parties may participate.
The ICC Code Development Process reflects principles of openness, transparency, balance, due process and consensus, the principles embodied in OMB Circular A-119, which governs the federal government’s use of private-sector standards. The ICC process is open to anyone; there is no cost to participate, and people can participate without travel cost through the ICC’s cloud-based app, cdpAccess®. A broad cross section of interests are represented in the ICC Code Development Process. The codes, which are updated regularly, include safeguards that allow for emergency action when required for health and safety reasons.
In order to ensure that organizations with a direct and material interest in the codes have a voice in the process, the ICC has developed partnerships with key industry segments that support the ICC’s important public safety mission. Some code development committee members were nominated by the following industry partners and approved by the ICC Board:
•American Institute of Architects (AIA)
•National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
The code development committees evaluate and make recommendations regarding proposed changes to the codes. Their recommendations are then subject to public comment and council-wide votes. The ICC′s governmental members–public safety officials who have no financial or business interest in the outcome–cast the final votes on proposed changes.
The contents of this work are subject to change through the code development cycles and by any governmental entity that enacts the code into law. For more information regarding the code development process, contact the Codes and Standards Development Department of the International Code Council.
While the I-Code development procedure is thorough and comprehensive, the ICC, its members and those participating in the development of the codes disclaim any liability resulting from the publication or use of the I-Codes, or from compliance or noncompliance with their provisions. The ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this code.
Code Development Committee Responsibilities
(Letter Designations in Front of Section Numbers)
In each code development cycle, proposed changes to this code are considered at the Code Development Hearings by the International Property Maintenance/Zoning Code Development Committee, whose action constitutes a recommendation to the voting membership for final action on the proposed changes. Proposed changes to a code section having a number beginning with a letter in brackets are considered by a different code development committee. For example, proposed changes to code sections that have the letter [F] in front of them (e.g., [F] 704.1) are considered by the International Fire Code Development Committee at the Code Development Hearings.
The content of sections in this code that begin with a letter designation is maintained by another code development committee in accordance with the following:
For the development of the 2021 edition of the I-Codes, there will be two groups of code development committees and they will meet in separate years.
Group A Codes (Heard in 2018, Code Change Proposals Deadline: January 8, 2018) Group B Codes (Heard in 2019, Code Change Proposals Deadline: January 7, 2019) International Building Code– Egress (Chapters 10, 11, Appendix E)– Fire Safety (Chapters 7, 8, 9, 14, 26)– General (Chapters 2–6, 12, 27–33, Appendices A, B, C, D, K, N) Administrative Provisions (Chapter 1 of all codes except IECC, IRC and IgCC, administrative updates to currently referenced standards, and designated definitions) International Fire Code International Building Code– Structural (Chapters 15–25, Appendices F, G, H, I, J, L, M) International Fuel Gas Code International Existing Building Code International Mechanical Code International Energy Conservation Code–Commercial International Plumbing Code International Energy Conservation Code– Residential– IECC–Residential– IRC–Energy (Chapter 11) International Property Maintenance Code International Green Construction Code (Chapter 1) International Private Sewage Disposal Code International Residential Code– IRC–Building (Chapters 1–10, Appendices E, F, H, J, K, L, M, O, Q, R, S, T) International Residential Code– IRC–Mechanical (Chapters 12–23)– IRC–Plumbing (Chapters 25–33, Appendices G, I, N, P) International Swimming Pool and Spa Code International Wildland-Urban Interface Code International Zoning Code Note: Proposed changes to the ICC Performance Code™ will be heard by the code development committee noted in brackets [ ] in the text of the ICC Performance Code™
Code change proposals submitted for code sections that have a letter designation in front of them will be heard by the respective committee responsible for such code sections. Because different committees hold Committee Action Hearings in different years, proposals for the IPMC will be heard by committees in both the 2018 (Group A) and the 2019 (Group B) code development cycles.
For instance, every section of Chapter 1 of this code is designated as the responsibility of the Administrative Code Development Committee, which is part of the Group B portion of the hearings. This committee will hold its Committee Action Hearings in 2019 to consider code change proposals for Chapter 1 of all I-Codes except the International Energy Conservation Code, International Residential Code and International Green Construction Code. Therefore, any proposals received for Chapter 1 of this code will be assigned to the Administrative Code Development Committee for consideration in 2019.
It is very important that anyone submitting code change proposals understand which code development committee is responsible for the section of the code that is the subject of the code change proposal. For further information on the code development committee responsibilities, please visit the ICC web site at www.iccsafe.org/scoping.
Solid vertical lines in the margins within the body of the code indicate a technical change from the requirements of the 2015 edition. Deletion indicators in the form of an arrow () are provided in the margin where an entire section, paragraph, exception or table has been deleted or an item in a list of items or a table has been deleted.
Coordination of the International Codes
The coordination of technical provisions is one of the strengths of the ICC family of model codes. The codes can be used as a complete set of complementary documents, which will provide users with full integration and coordination of technical provisions. Individual codes can also be used in subsets or as stand-alone documents. To make sure that each individual code is as complete as possible, some technical provisions that are relevant to more than one subject area are duplicated in some of the model codes. This allows users maximum flexibility in their application of the I-Codes.
Words and terms defined in Chapter 2, Definitions, are italicized where they appear in code text and the Chapter 2 definition applies. Where such words and terms are not italicized, common-use definitions apply. The words and terms selected have code-specific definitions that the user should read carefully to facilitate better understanding of the code.
The International Code Council maintains a copyright in all of its codes and standards. Maintaining copyright allows the ICC to fund its mission through sales of books, in both print and electronic formats. The ICC welcomes adoption of its codes by jurisdictions that recognize and acknowledge the ICC’s copyright in the code, and further acknowledge the substantial shared value of the public/private partnership for code development between jurisdictions and the ICC.
The ICC also recognizes the need for jurisdictions to make laws available to the public. All ICodes and I-Standards, along with the laws of many jurisdictions, are available for free in a nondownloadable form on the ICC’s website. Jurisdictions should contact the ICC at email@example.com to learn how to adopt and distribute laws based on the International Property Maintenance Code in a manner that provides necessary access, while maintaining the ICC’s copyright.
To facilitate adoption, several sections of this code contain blanks for fill-in information that needs to be supplied by the adopting jurisdiction as part of the adoption legislation. For this code, please see:
Section 101.1. Insert: [NAME OF JURISDICTION] Section 103.5. Insert: [APPROPRIATE SCHEDULE] Section 112.4. Insert: [DOLLAR AMOUNT IN TWO LOCATIONS] Section 302.4. Insert: [HEIGHT IN INCHES] Section 304.14. Insert: [DATES IN TWO LOCATIONS] Section 602.3. Insert: [DATES IN TWO LOCATIONS] Section 602.4. Insert: [DATES IN TWO LOCATIONS]
2018 International Property Maintenance Code