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  1. #1
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    Default Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Yesterday I encountered a furdown above a triangular area framed in a corner of a hallway. Below, in the hallway, the area is sheathed with drywall with inset drywall shelves for art display. In the attic, however, there is a hole about 2-1/2 feet deep. Shouldn't this vertical space be firestopped at the ceiling level, or does the waferboard sheathing preclude the need for a ceiling level firestop?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Similarly, at the same house, the draft stop (or fireblocking) at the vertical chimney chase has been penetrated at two locations. One is a CATV cable that descends from the attic through a hole that appears to have been bored by the home owner in order to mount a flat panel TV above the fireplace opening. The hole is rather large and the code indicates to me that some kind of fitting is needed to provide closure at the gap. The hole seen in the attached photo penetrates the top of the stud wall that forms the face of the fireplace (and one side of the triangular flue chase). Nearby, and directly adjacent to the fireplace flue itself, is a 4-inch flex duct that penetrates the draftstop at the ceiling level. There is also about a 1/2-inch gap at that penetration. Should these penetrations have some type of fitting as seems to be indicate in the code?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Autrey View Post
    Shouldn't this vertical space be firestopped at the ceiling level,
    Correct, that should be fireblocked at the ceiling level.

    or does the waferboard sheathing preclude the need for a ceiling level firestop?
    Nope.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Autrey View Post
    The hole is rather large and the code indicates to me that some kind of fitting is needed to provide closure at the gap.

    Should these penetrations have some type of fitting as seems to be indicate in the code?

    Those need to be sealed around, yes.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    In my opinion the furdown above the triangular area framed in a corner of the hallway does have the proper fireblocking.

    Now the penetrations where the wires are need sealed.


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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Also, don't ignore the energy losses in the uninsulated walls of those furdowns. A simple solution is to cover the top of the box (with something like plywood or OSB), seal the joints (to reduce air infiltration) and insulate over it.

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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    you will also note that most fireplace manufactures require the the fresh air intake opening to be lower than the top of the fire box that one appears to go up the chimney,


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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Quote Originally Posted by paul hardy View Post
    you will also note that most fireplace manufactures require the the fresh air intake opening to be lower than the top of the fire box that one appears to go up the chimney,
    While I didn't thoroughly trace the flex flue it did have a louvered type backflow damper on the exterior and I'm pretty sure it was the discharge from the master bathroom vent fan.


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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    In my opinion the furdown above the triangular area framed in a corner of the hallway does have the proper fireblocking.
    I guess it is just me, but my gut tells me that structural panel does not meet the 3/4" ( 23/32" ) minimum thickness ... I mean, how many jobs have ANY 3/4" structural panels on them?

    See R602.8.1 in the IRC.

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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I guess it is just me, but my gut tells me that structural panel does not meet the 3/4" ( 23/32" ) minimum thickness ... I mean, how many jobs have ANY 3/4" structural panels on them?

    See R602.8.1 in the IRC.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Autrey View Post
    Below, in the hallway, the area is sheathed with drywall
    It sounds to me like it is already fireblocked and does not need any additional fireblocking.

    1
    /2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board is allowed as fireblocking.





  11. #11
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    Default Re: Concealed Vertical Spaces

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    It sounds to me like it is already fireblocked and does not need any additional fireblocking.


    1
    /2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board is allowed as fireblocking.
    Correct.

    You are allowed to use 1/2" gypsum board, but you are not allowed to use 1/2" structural panel - the structural panel would need to be 3/4" - and structural panel is what is shown, not gypsum board.

    Or cover that exposed structural panel with 1/2" drywall, that would work.

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