Fire Blocking Decoupled Walls - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been taking a crash course on fire blocking lately, and I have a nagging question. The requirements, as I understand them, are to block vertical sections of wall from horizontal sections. Further, you have to provide blocking every 10' horizontally. Now, this gets a little tricky when you have a decoupled wall using clips and channel. For the connection between the walls and the ceilings, it's fairly simple. Hopefully Ted and John at the Soundproofing Company won't mind me posting their detail again



As long as you have something to run your first layer of ceiling drywall up to, you can caulk the edge and maintain your decoupling as well as provide fire blocking.

The part I don't understand, though, is how do you provide the blocking every 10' of horizontal wall space? You have a gap between your studs and the first layer of drywall on your wall that I don't see an easy way of filling without coupling your drywall to the wall.

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post #2 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 07:32 AM
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I would just place thicker insulation in a stud bay every 10 feet.

The fireblock does not need to be between the stud and the back of the GWB, it just needs to be every 10 feet.

So if you had a 3-1/2" deep bay, you could put 5-1/2" thick insulation in one of the bays such that it touches the back of the drywall. I suppose you would have to make a slit at each channel to make it fit well.

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post #3 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm... I don't think Ted will like the sound of that smile.gif I know one of their SIMs specifically mentions keeping the insulation off of the channel. Although, I really don't see any alternatives.

Edit: I shouldn't speak for Ted smile.gif I spoke with him earlier and my understanding is he would not have an issue with the insulation against the DW as long as it is not compressed.

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post #4 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 08:51 AM
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Not that I would ever to do this but I think it is fairly common for basement theater builders to get there framing/insulation/firecode inspections before they ever pull a whisper clip out of the box. Once they have passed the close in inspection the clips. channel and drywall goes up. What happens behind the drywall stays behind the drywall.
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 11:05 AM
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Ted's drawing works perfectly for the situation where you are using clips on the wall and the framing is tight to the foundation (or as shown, ehen there is drywall on the other side of the framing). ARE you, or did you decouple the framing and place it 1" or so away from the foundation? Fireblocking is different for that situation.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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My framing is spaced off the wall, but for that side I've stuffed insulation in the opening between the top plate and the foundation. That's a good point though.

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post #7 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 11:47 AM
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It does not work in the wall because fireblocking is required "in concealed spaces of stud walls and partitions, including furred spaces and parallel rows of studs or staggered studs"

You've created a space between the face of the stud and the drywall by using clips and channel which would allow fire and smoke to travel the entire length of the wall. The code intends to stop the travel at 10 foot intervals.

Similarly, if you have your studs separated from the foundation wall, you have to fireblock between the frame wall and foundation wall at 10 intervals.

From the commentary;

"To restrict the movement of flame and gasses to other
areas of a building through concealed passages in
building components such as floors, walls and stairs,
fireblocking of these concealed combustible spaces is
required"

Tim
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Mr. Tim, I'm not sure which point from the previous posts you are addressing. To comply with the code, you are required to put fireblocking at the top of the wall and every 10' horizontally. The detail provided from The Soundproofing company addresses the ceiling/wall intersection where clips and channel are used, but for my case required insulation between the top plate and the foundation to provide the "blocking" on the back side. In order to meet the 10' horizontal distance requirement, we need to add blocking between the foundation and the studs as well as some sort of blocking between the studs and drywall where clips and channel are used. Perhaps my previous posts wasn't clear as to which of those two cases I was addressing?

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post #9 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
My framing is spaced off the wall, but for that side I've stuffed insulation in the opening between the top plate and the foundation.

Exactly.
Quote:
if you have your studs separated from the foundation wall, you have to fireblock between the frame wall and foundation wall at 10 intervals.

Again, exactly.

That's how I did both and had no issues.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 12:09 PM
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JPA I was addressing tlogan in post #7, in that the diagram in the first post does not address the required fireblocking on the room side of the stud. You and I are on the same page, and you are correct as to where fireblocking is required at 10 foot intervals.

To be clear, it says fireblocking at 10 foot intervals. It doesn't say the fireblocking has to be between the stud and the drywall. That is why I suggested the thicker insulation in a single bay every 10 feet. I think it is less coupling than stuffing the area between stud and drywall which seems like it would be more compressed.

As for stud-to-foundation at 10 intervals, I think you know your options.. you could use insulation, but I know you have moisture concerns. You could attach a strip of 3/4" plywood, 1/2 GWB or even 1/4" cement board (like a piece of Hardi-plank) to the stud and abut the foundation.

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post #11 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Does the 10' blocking go from plate to plate or from concrete floor to the top plate?

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post #12 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 12:39 PM
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It should effectively stop a draft. In your situation I think it would be from the concrete floor to the top of the top plate. Or you could put a block of 2x4 on the floor behind your existing sole plate and then rest the GWB or whatever you are using on top of that.


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post #13 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Good info as always!

I'm considering using a pressure treated 2x for my 10' blocking. Might not be the cheapest, but it would certainly be quick.

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post #14 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Scratch that. I've already got some scrap 5/8" DW. I'll just use that and leave a small gap that I can caulk.

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post #15 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I probably know the answer to this already, but do corners count with regard to 10' of horizontal space? That is, if I have a 10' section with a corner, followed by 3' section, followed by a 9' section, do I need to add blocking there?

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post #16 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 02:10 PM
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If it's an inside corner of the foundation (foundation also continues in both directions), then yes. It doesn't need to be in the corner, you just can't have a horizontal space greater than 10 feet.

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post #17 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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In my case the foundation is in the shape I described above, and the wall is framed just inside it following that shape. The arrows in the image below point to foundation wall, concrete, corners.

My guess is that the same fireblocking would be required since fire is not really going to care about corners, but I'm not sure.

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post #18 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

My guess is that the same fireblocking would be required since fire is not really going to care about corners, but I'm not sure.

You are correct. You need to break the concealed space into 10 foot intervals. If the space continues through and around the corner, you would need to break it somewhere. WOuldn;t necessarily have to be at the corner. You could do it 5 foot off the corner in one direction and 5 foot in the other direction.

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post #19 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thanks for the help. Now, if you would just stop by one afternoon and take care of all this, that would be even better biggrin.gif I'm not going to hold my breath, though smile.gif

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post #20 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 02:36 PM
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If you were closer, I certainly would biggrin.gif Always glad to help those who want to do things right. Spend much of my day doing just that.. just not in a hands-on fashion.

You now have a better understanding than a lot of contractors.

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post #21 of 22 Old 02-15-2013, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I suppose the drive from N.Y. to the great state of Alabama might be a bit much to ask smile.gif

I do appreciate all the advice!

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post #22 of 22 Old 02-16-2013, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought I would post a couple pictures of the finished product. Between the posts on this thread and the conversation with our inspector I decided to stuff insulation in at the top plate and I used a combination of 5/8" and 1/2" drywall to provide blocking every 10' horizontally. Here you can see some of both.



It's not pretty, but it works. I also caulked the gap between the foundation and the DW with some fire rated caulk.

Here you can see that I added a strip of DW around the top of the wall so that I can seal the first layer of ceiling DW. Normally this would not be necessary, as the first layer of ceiling DW would butt against the top plate, but because I had to fur down my ceiling, my DW was just a little lower than the top plate. No worries, this did the trick.



Finally, here's a shot of a section at the back where the top plate is buried further up into the ceiling. I cut some 2x6s to fill the gap and give me something to seal that first layer of DW against. It creates a sort of pocket, but the top of the wall ovelaps the foundation and my blocking is butted against the top of the wall.



Once you understand what you're trying to accomplish, this whole process becomes a lot simpler. It probably took me 2 hours in all to finish this up. Although, it would have taken the framers much less time to do it when they were building the house smile.gif

Hopefully this will come in handy for someone else.

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