I'm trimming out a house where interior wood doors are used for access to the unheated, uninsulated attic space. These are nice, 24" fir panel doors. Buidling inspector says that they must be insulated doors. Does anyone know a system to add insulation to these doors (that will pass fire code)?
Or is the solution to replace with an exterior insulated door. This is not the first choice, as the existing doors are really nice doors.
I would confirm with the inpsector or someone familiar with the code he is citing before you proceed. "Insulated" is sometimes interchanged with UL labeled fire doors. It may need to be just a steel door or actually a labeled door. In either case, I doubt you'll be able to just tack on some insulation to meet the inspectors requirement.
The inspector is referring to R-value insulated type doors. When we install doors such as described, for example: an attic knee wall door - we insulate the back side of it. We attach 3/8" plywood or 1/2" OSB over the back, non-visible side of the door panel, facing the attic storage area (non-conditioned area). Then we install rigid foam board over the plywood using adhesive and simple 2" drywall screws.
Example of foam board:
As stated, confirm with the inspector that he will pass this type of arrangement. We have never had a problem with it.
Additionally, you will need to install proper "weather-stripping" around the door frame.
Thanks for your ideas.
I will confirm with the Bldg Inspector before proceeding. The plans specify, and he confirms this, that the door needs to meet U-35. Doors are spec'd by U rather than R - sort of the inverse of R-value.
My approach will be to add 3/4 polystyrene (sp?) to the back of the door, like you recommended. I'll have to box it in, covered with plywood, as there can't be exposed insulation (so says the BI). Lock set will present a challenge. And, yes, I'll definitely add the weather stripping.
I'll probably need a letter from the engineer anyway.
fun fun fun
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