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psi3000 08-17-2010 12:54 PM

Dry walled garaged ceiling cant get to to insulate
I put a Window AC unit in my only garage window to cool it down while I work on my projects. It doesn't stay very cool and the ratting on the unit surpasses the room dimensions, its brand new and is blowing constanly. Yesterday I went up into the attic and noticed that the attic was closed off at the garage with plywood board. So I drilled two holes to look through with a flashlight. This room over the garage was not insulated at all. My two questions are: Can I just cut a hole in this wall so i can access this area from the attic and put insulation and have more storage space? And why was this sectioned off from the attic? Fire code? and if so how can I keep this fire code wall still up to code? can I install a very small door or will I just have to board it back up?

inspectorD 08-17-2010 02:14 PM

Firecode it are right on. Basically to save your home when the garage has an issue. You will need to seal the holes off with fire caulk or spray foam which is rated for fireproofing. they seel it at the box stores.
I would make an access from the garage ceiling and save the piece you cut out, and trim it with some wood when you are done.

Have fun insulating, I would do it in the 4 am hour this time of year, and if you use fiberglass insulation, wash it off with cold water and fabric softener first.It helps.

psi3000 08-17-2010 02:39 PM

Thanks for the quick response and info inspertorD. Is there any way I can use this for storage by putting a small door there instead of sealing it back up? Or would I have to build a entry from the garage to stay firesafe?
Thanks for the tip about cold water and fabric softer, I use packaging tape like a lint grabber and go over any exposed itching skin afterwords. I usually wear a one piece dupont paint suit, hat and respirator. I didn't use a respirator when I went up there the first time while I was kicking up fiberglass, is this a health issue?\
Does anyone thing I should approach this any other way?

psi3000 08-17-2010 02:44 PM

My mistake, I see you said access from garage ceiling. so I can not cut a hole in this fire board at all and seal it back up or install a small door?

inspectorD 08-17-2010 08:31 PM

You need to separate the areas completely. This is called a fire safe wall, this is why it continues up through the attic.
And yes you can install a pull down stair set into the attic ceiling, or get someone to do it for you.
And this only works as long as this is not a truss roof.
good luck.:)

psi3000 08-18-2010 07:36 AM

I do not know what a truss roof is. I got this definition off google:"Trusses are pre-fabricated, triangulated wooden structures used to support the roof." Well aren't all roofs truss then? This section i am trying to insulate is a triangle frame held together by those metal gusset things. There is a makeshift 2x4s walkway down the middle, so I guess it is meant to walk on and can support my weight (240lbs)? but the gussets come together right in the middle of what I suspect is a walkway, can I walk on this or will the gussets give out and i come crashing through the ceiling? Sorry for all the little questions, I am sure I should be able to walk up here but I do not have any carpentry experience.

GarageGuy 08-18-2010 09:29 AM

I have seen many garages with truss roofs where the homeowners have used the space for storage. However, it is not recommended though. The easiest way to insulate the space will be to use blow-in insulation. The R-value of loose fill cellulose is R-3.2 to 3.8 per inch. Loose fill fiberglass has an R-value of R-2.2 to 2.7 per inch. Using blow-in insulation you will be covering several inches over the top of the joists to achieve a decent R-Value of insulation so storage will not be possible. Just cut a hole and blow in the insulation. You could make a raised platform perhaps to store some bulky light-weight seasonal items such as Christmas Decorations. Here's some more considerations and ideas regarding attic storage.

Nestor_Kelebay 08-18-2010 03:42 PM

This is what a truss supported roof looks like:

As you can see, an attic space like this doesn't really lend itself to use as storage space.

And that's especially true if your blow-in insulation covers the tops of the bottom chords of the trusses cuz then you can't even store stuff without compressing the insulation.

inspectorD 08-18-2010 08:41 PM

Blown in insulation and no storage is the general rule, At least it will help your AC.
have fun in the shop and stay cool.;) Sorry couldn't resist.:D

psi3000 08-19-2010 06:58 AM

Oh i got you. I thought you meant I couldn't put the ceiling ladder in if I had a truss roof. But can i stand on the frame of the roof? I actually use big pieces of partial board I get from work for free to put over the insulation and store Tupperware bins on. Does this seem ok in regards to what you said about no storage with blown in or any insulation? Will those gussets hold me? i am doing blown in insulation as it is the same price as the roll out kind and its non itchy and you can breath the dust in (Not that I wont use a mask anyway).

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