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  1. #1

    Default Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    I had an inspection yesterday of a home that had a storage closet at the back of the garage. The dryer vent went out of the laundry room into the (garage) closet and then to the exterior. My question is this: Is the closet wall considered part of the common (fire-rated) wall of this home. It is not part of the garage parking area. I wrote it up as a Safety issue, but told the buyer I would do more research.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Lawrence,
    I would think it would depend on if the closet has a fire rated door and is weatherstripped/sealed to separate the closet from the garage. My biggest issue would be the use of the transition duct in the closet and not using 4" solid metal duct inside the closet. The flex should only be used from the dryer to the connection in the laundry room.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Thomas View Post
    My question is this: Is the closet wall considered part of the common (fire-rated) wall of this home.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Burnett View Post
    I would think it would depend on if the closet has a fire rated door and is weatherstripped/sealed to separate the closet from the garage.
    First ... that wall is not ... "is not" ... a "fire rated" wall. That wall has no "rating", it is simply a "separation" wall.

    It is VERY important to understand the difference between a "fire rated" wall and all other walls, including "separation" walls. A "fire rated" wall is constructed a specific way with specific materials and has been tested and rated for the rating time of the wall (<1 hour, 1 hour, 2 hour, 3 hour, 4 hour).

    (Note, I have added the underlined "separation" word to the question below and deleted the non-applicable words "common (fire-rated)")
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Thomas View Post
    My question is this: Is the closet wall considered part of the separation wall of this home. It is not part of the garage parking area. I wrote it up as a Safety issue, but told the buyer I would do more research.
    Now apply Gary's answer with "proper door" substituted for "fire rated door". - where "proper door" means any door which meets the code requirements, and being a "rated door" is not a requirement ... a "20-minute rated door" is just one of the allowable doors, it is not required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Burnett View Post
    I would think it would depend on if the closet has a proper door and is weatherstripped/sealed to separate the closet from the garage.
    We really need to know about more than just the door as that is presuming that the wall that door is in is a suitable "separation wall", but start with Gary's information first, then fill in the unpainted picture with the missing information ... i.e., the separation wall between the garage and the dwelling unit can zig-zag into the closet (which would mean proper sealing around all of the penetrations in the closet to resist the passage of flames) and back out, or can go across and have a closet on the dwelling unit side of the separation wall with a proper door (which would mean proper sealing around all the penetrations in the closet to seal up the thermal and air envelope of the dwelling unit).

    While that may seem to make the issue 'more complicated than it needs to be', once one understand what is being looked at, it is not only 'not complicated', it is 'necessary information' too.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Consider the concept of "gas proofing" when you are dealing with the separation between an attached garage and the house (living spaces). Can carbon monoxide enter the home from a vehicle in a garage? So all openings are potential concerns unless properly sealed.

    The concept of gas proofing applies to occupant safety in all parts of Canada, and would have to believe all if not the majority of states in the U.S.A.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    Consider the concept of "gas proofing" when you are dealing with the separation between an attached garage and the house (living spaces). Can carbon monoxide enter the home from a vehicle in a garage? So all openings are potential concerns unless properly sealed.

    The concept of gas proofing applies to occupant safety in all parts of Canada, and would have to believe all if not the majority of states in the U.S.A.
    That is a good visual way to describe what needs to be done, but that is not the only reason down here 'south of the border'.

    The sealing around all penetrations is to prevent the free passage of flame: (underlining and bold are mine)

    - R302.5 Dwelling-garage opening and penetration protection.
    - - Openings and penetrations through the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be in accordance with Sections R302.5.1 through R302.5.3.
    - - R302.5.1 Opening protection.
    - - - Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted. Other openings between the garage and residence shall be equipped with solid wood doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) in thickness, solid or honeycomb-core steel doors not less than 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) thick, or 20-minute fire-rated doors, equipped with a self-closing or automatic-closing device.
    - - R302.5.2 Duct penetration.
    - - - Ducts in the garage and ducts penetrating the walls or ceilings separating the dwelling from the garage shall be constructed of a minimum No. 26 gage (0.48 mm) sheet steel or other approved material and shall not have openings into the garage.
    - - R302.5.3 Other penetrations.
    - - - Penetrations through the separation required in Section R302.6 shall be protected as required by Section R302.11, Item 4.


    - R302.11 Fireblocking
    - - 4. At openings around vents, pipes, ducts, cables and wires at ceiling and floor level, with an approved material to resist the free passage of flame and products of combustion. The material filling this annular space shall not be required to meet the ASTM E136 requirements.

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    , equipped with a self-closing or automatic-closing device.
    A couple of home inspectors in Florida recently told me that auto closing devices are not required in Florida. Is that true?

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    A couple of home inspectors in Florida recently told me that auto closing devices are not required in Florida. Is that true?
    in Flah-Duh ... our legislators feel that they know what is better than what building professionals know, and the legislature may it a state statute that requiring a self-closing device in a single-family house on the door from the garage to the house is prohibited ... so every code cycle requires that statutory requirement prohibition to be made to the Flah-Duh code.

    The story behind that Flah-Duh statute is that the wife of a state legislator kept getting hit by their garage door whenever she would bring groceries into the house from the car, so ... instead of doing the typical 'man thing' and 'solving the problem' by removing the self-closing hinge ... and being a Flah-Duh legislator ... he crafted a bill, got his buddies to sign on as co-sponsors, and passed a bill which prohibits any Flah-Duh code from requiring self-closing devices on garage/house doors.

    That, my friend, is what Flah-Duh legislators consider 'doing what they are they for and doing a great job of legislating' ... is it any wonder that Flah-Duh laws are so screwed up?

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Other than what's already been said, I would wonder why it's located so high on the wall and what it looks like behind that wall, where it's attached to the drier.

    And that's interesting to know Jerry, about the Florida door thing, dangerous legislation.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Holes in garage/laundry common wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    is it any wonder that Flah-Duh laws are so screwed up?
    I've learned that anywhere you go, gubnuts have figured out ways, often different ways, to screw it up. But prohibiting self closers vs. just saying they aren't required is an odd step backwards.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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