Chemical Exposure

EPS geofoam can be damaged when exposed to certain hydrocarbon chemical and may need protection. There are a number of hydrocarbon resistant geomembranes that are suitable for protection of EPS geofoam. Make sure that the geomembranes used are compatible with EPS. For example, polypropylene, polyethylene, chlorosulphonated polythylene (CSPE) and Ethylene Interpolymer Alloys (EIAs) are compatible geomembranes. If using EPS geofoam in a location with contaminated soils, laboratory testing should be performed to determine the nature of the contaminants and their possible effects.


Like many construction materials, EPS is combustible. EPS geofoam is manufactured with a flame retardant in North America. Appropriate precautions should be implemented at project sites if open flame procedures, such as welding, will be performed. In geotechnical finished applications EPS geofoam is protected from exposure by soil, concrete or other cover materials. When used within buildings, gypsum board or concrete should be used for protection. • EPS is combustible. • A flame retardant is part of EPS geofoam. This retardant inhibits the early stages of fire development.

UV Light

EPS is susceptible to ultra violet degradation if exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Degradation caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight is generally surficial (yellow colored dust) and does not cause detrimental property changes of practical importance. This discoloring can be removed by power washing or a grinder, if desired.


Wind speeds should be monitored during construction to determine if overburden weight restraints such as sandbags should be placed on top of the EPS geofoam to prevent the blocks from shifting.