Modern construction Penetrate garage ceiling require a fire-rated assembly also called "fire separation" or a "firewall" in an attached garage. Fire separation walls also are designed to help prevent dangerous exhaust fumes, such as carbon monoxide, from entering living space. That is why any openings in the walls or ceilings common with living space or an attic where wiring, plumbing, or ductwork penetrates or any other holes should be properly sealed, such Penetrate garage ceiling with fire-caulking a high temperature-rated sealant.
A common defect I that run across, sometimes even in newer homes, is when there is attic space above the garage and the access cover from the garage consists only of a piece of wood such as particle board, OSB, or plywood.
As everyone knows, Penetrate garage ceiling is combustible, so having a wooden access cover separating an attic and garage compromises the fire separation wall since this wooden cover will quickly burn.
Even if the rest of the garage ceiling or walls are drywalled, any unsealed opening or combustible material can compromise the firewall.
Another common defect pertains to pulldown ladders installed in garage ceilings. These covers are almost always wooden and therefore combustible which will compromise the garage firewall since, again, the pulldown ladder's wooden cover will likely quickly burn and allow a fire to quickly spread.
Pulldown ladders with steel covers do exist and should help provide a better fire protection, however I have only seen a 1 or 2 of these steel ladders in many years inspecting homes. Pulldown ladders almost always have wooden covers which are combustible and will allow a garage fire to Penetrate garage ceiling burn through this wooden cover and enter an attic or nearby living space.
The amount of time that a properly fire-rated garage ceiling may provide for emergency egress versus one that is compromised by a pulldown ladder with a wooden cover may mean the difference between getting out safely and being a casualty. The wall common in the above photo between an attached garage and the home has several issues: Carbon monoxide from the garage could also readily enter the home at these areas as well.
Replacing a wooden access panel also known as a scuttle cover with an appropriately-sized piece of drywall is a proper repair, however, and a recommendation that I regularly make Penetrate garage ceiling home inspections when I find wooden access covers in garages.
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Of course, a home inspection is not a Penetrate garage ceiling compliance inspection, however I have inspected several new or recently-built homes that have passed the township or borough code inspection only to find an improper garage attic access cover such as particle board installed. A few times, I was able to find who performed the code compliance inspection of the property to inquire why the void in the firewall passed their inspection. Each time, I was able to determine that the issue was something overlooked aka "missed" by the Penetrate garage ceiling official that should have been caught and repaired prior to occupancy.
The mandoor from the garage into the home should also be fire-rated.
Penetrate garage ceiling A metal fire-rated door often will have a sticker on it indicating that it meets a specific fire code. This mandoor should not have a window unless the window glass is explicitly labeled as being fire-rated nor should it have any other openings, such as a pet door. Standard glass Penetrate garage ceiling not withstand a fire and may shatter into the home, although there are some mandoors available that have fire-resistant tempered glass in them, although finding these installed seems to be very rare.
Pet doors present issues because they are not air tight plus these doors are often a combustible material such as plastic.
Some homes also have firewood pass-through doors which allow firewood to be brought into the home directly from the garage; all of these that I have run across have wooden covers combustible and will void the garage firewall.
This garage mandoor into the home is a thin wooden door, like you'd see installed into a bedroom.
The door would likely burn in a matter of minutes and may not provide adequate protection to help slow down a garage fire from spreading into living space. Also, the gap under door will not stop possible carbon monoxide entry into the home. This mandoor between an attached garage and living space is not fire-rated either.
The glass is not fire-rated and will likely shatter into the home in the event of a garage fire. The lack of a firewall or a fire-rated Penetrate garage ceiling into the home and often both! Although homes built Penetrate garage ceiling to a building code would be most likely be grandfathered, I still bring up the issues with my clients to inform them of these potential safety issues that they should be aware of.
In other words, these types of homes often have no fire-separation installed at all. A garage fire could reach the living space adjacent in a matter of minutes and possibly quickly spread throughout the home.
Unsealed openings, or no fire separation at all, can lead to carbon monoxide infiltrating the home as well. Openings where ductwork, plumbing, wiring, etc.