Someone needs to explain the last sentence to me…I don’t understand it. Also, it has been discussed here several times about using the term “firewall” which is a fire rated assembly of which few, if any, garages actually have or required to have. I’m of the opinion that the term “separation wall” is more correct.
“The living space is separated from the garage by a firewall that extends from the floor to the roof. If the ceiling material is fire-rated, the firewall can terminate at the ceiling”
Hi. Michael, hope you are doing well.
I thoght it was one of the same.
Firewall- a wall constructed to prevent the spread of fire
Separation Wall- a wall compartmentalizing an area from another to contain smoke or fire.
Garage firewall / separation wall - The whole idea is to give you an extra hour of protection (separation wall between the garage and the house is currently required to provide one hour of fire resistance) from the fire that might start inside the garage.
In order to achieve this rating, the wall needs to be sheathed with at least 5/8″ drywall on each side (from the garage and home side), but check with your local code enforcement division … some jurisdictions will double that thickness.
The separation wall should have no missing / damaged drywall sections, any penetration must be sealed (fire rated caulking would be perfect for small gaps around the pipes, air ducts, door frames, etc).
If the wall is made out of brick, cinder block, stone, solid concrete, or any other non-flammable material, you’d just have to worry about penetrations.:)
Not required, what is required is a slope in the garage floor. Fuel/solvent fumes are often heavier than air, but many explosive gasses can also be lighter than air.
Depends on the Jurisdiction, in my area some require it and some don’t.
My own house does not have one, but that was before some of those codes were required.
The new houses that I have seen without the step-up to living space, usually have a sloping floor to the exterior as you say Brian.
The ones with floor drains require an oil water separator before exiting to the city or positive outfall. :)
Perhaps you would like sharing a code reference on the required step??:D:D
Even with a curb stop/step a sloping floor has been a requirement for some time.
Marcel, the argument in the past has been that a true fire wall was a rated assembly meeting what, ASTM or NFPA requirements, and that a separation wall was much less strict. I don’t have the inclination to get into a debate about it ( I don’t mean that to be ugly or anything, it’s just not that important an issue to me) but there was a good thread on this a year or so ago. I think it may have been Joe Farsetta that was bringing the topic up. I’ll try to find the old thread.
Edited - it now say that it isn’t required. Also, the slope issue was already addressed in the article.
I haven’t had this many complaints since the old days. Keep knockin me down, it builds the articles up!
These aren’t complaints Rob…just constructive criticism.
Thanks Brian, I remember that discussion also.
Forget if we all agreed on something or not.
I don’t think we did…has that ever occurred on anything?
Would be nice if it did Michael:mrgreen:
Exactly Rob, for the most part your articles are pretty good right out of the shoot.
Even the IRC refers to it as a separation not a fire wall.
I think we need to include the word “fire” in there as that is its primary purpose. I guess we could call it a fire separation wall or fire containment wall, but I like firewall.
How about calling it what it is?
A fire rated separation wall.
This a copy of Jeff Pope’s response to this subject in 2004 and I agree with it.
A fire wall is to contain the fire, a separation wall is to basically do the same thing with no rating.
A separation wall built with 1/2" drywall on both sides only contains the fire for 20 minutes, I have seen it and repaired it.
A fire wall, is usually labeled to last 1-hour and consist of 5/8" drywall on both sides.
In any case, here is Jeff’s post. I am sure he won’t mind.
Although I did not get permission.
Posted: Sep 9, 2004 10:00 AM Post Subject:
</SPAN>**bob haller wrote:**I guess my question is the seller expected to take a existing 50 year old home and bring it up to current code?
First of all, code does not apply to existing buildings. If your home was signed off by the local AHJ 50 years ago, it was code compliant. Any subsequent alterations and/or additions would be required to be compliant to the codes in affect at the time of their construction (assuming permits were pulled).
Some jurisdictions require specific Health and Safety upgrades prior to title transfer. Is this what’s going on in your case?
The fire separation is only required between the garage and living space. If there is no living space above your garage, the garage ceiling does not need to be fire rated. The common wall should be “rated” material (not “fire proof” material) from the floor to the ridge of the roof with all holes and seams filled.
And yes, a good inspector will find something in almost all cases. Don’t sweat the small stuff
JPI Home Inspection Service
“At JPI, we’ll help you look better”
And here is a link to a juridiction in California just to show how they modify the IRC to their liking, which is typical of all Jurisdictions that have approve a code of some sort. It is always amended to suit the area.
This one is called a Fire Wall, and I tend to agree with Michael that their might be a difference.
The fire wall meets the title, the Separation does just that, separates the two.