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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hutchinson, MN.
    Posts
    11

    Default Townhome Attic firebarrier

    This AM I inspected my first townhome built in 1993. While up in the attic I noted the common rafter between the 2 units was sheetrocked on both sides , But the wall did not continue thru the garage. You can see both halfs of the garage, and by looking at the photo you can also see into each sides attic.
    I know we are not Code Inspectors but shouldn't this be done anyway, As a safety precaution?
    By the way I did talk to the local building official and he stated it "May of slipped thru the cracks" when it was built.

    Ron
    1stClassHomeInspectionllc.com

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Townhome Attic firebarrier

    From your photo it looks like the trusses run across both units, left to right, and bear on an intermediate wall ... the trusses should be discontinuous at that intermediate bearing wall, and, yes, that intermediate bearing wall should be fire-rated on both sides all the way to the underside or the roof sheathing (with the roof sheathing protected from fire for 4 feet each side of the bearing wall) or run through the roof with an 18" parapet wall above the roof (those are the two options allowed).

    If the trusses run as I think they do in the photo (continuous across both townhouse units), then it is not good at all, and the lack of drywall on the wall is just the tip of the iceberg.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hutchinson, MN.
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Townhome Attic firebarrier

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From your photo it looks like the trusses run across both units, left to right, and bear on an intermediate wall ... the trusses should be discontinuous at that intermediate bearing wall, and, yes, that intermediate bearing wall should be fire-rated on both sides all the way to the underside or the roof sheathing (with the roof sheathing protected from fire for 4 feet each side of the bearing wall) or run through the roof with an 18" parapet wall above the roof (those are the two options allowed).

    If the trusses run as I think they do in the photo (continuous across both townhouse units), then it is not good at all, and the lack of drywall on the wall is just the tip of the iceberg.
    After more investigation and talking to the local building official, The code here allowed 2 layers of 5/8" rock on the garage ceilings back in 93 to create the 1 hour fire seperation. According to him this met compliance for a short time until they updated with the new code, A Double layer wall with Rock on both sides.

    Just by looking at it though it is apparent a draft stop at the very least should have been put in place to keep each unit secure.

    Ron


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