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Old 09-06-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Hello Folks,
I am having lots of headaches lately because one of my neighbos who lives in the same building wherein I live that has an attached garage simply decided to open a hole into her garage going towards her unit and then put a door there in order to make her life more convenient. Now is complaining and accusing me of generating fumes that penetrates inside her unit make she feel sick, etc. That situation is completely insane since the garage is proper and rightful place to start and run vehicles, and it is my understanding that by law I am only required to open the garage door whenever I start and run a vehicle. I also have a 2-stroke motorscooter which can generate lots of smoke, but again it is a street legal vehicle. My car also can generate lots of smoke sometimes (cold winter morning). It seems to me that her door is irregular and illegal since any door going to an attached garage is a safe and health hazard (all vehicles do produce poisoning and deadly fumes). To make things worse her door goes straight down to her basement what I believe is a very low pressure system which would then act as a vacuum pump sucking in lots of fumes (isn't that true?). I would appreciate any advice in how to handle such issue.
Thanks
tk

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Old 09-06-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


This whole situation seems a little crazy to me.

First of all, the living situation you describe leads me to think you're either in an apartment complex, or condos, or a townhouse. So... Is it "legal" for her to just cut a hole in the wall and install a door to the garage? Also, any door from a residence to an attached garage has to meet code - which, I suspect, hers does not.

Second, as for your part, you should NEVER start ANY vehicle in a garage without first opening the door. I hope that's not what you are doing, and am going to assume you're not.


The handling of this "situation" is going to have to go through property management.

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Old 09-06-2011, 11:01 AM   #3
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


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Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
This whole situation seems a little crazy to me.

First of all, the living situation you describe leads me to think you're either in an apartment complex, or condos, or a townhouse. So... Is it "legal" for her to just cut a hole in the wall and install a door to the garage? Also, any door from a residence to an attached garage has to meet code - which, I suspect, hers does not.

Second, as for your part, you should NEVER start ANY vehicle in a garage without first opening the door. I hope that's not what you are doing, and am going to assume you're not.


The handling of this "situation" is going to have to go through property management.

Thanks for your response DrHicks. I am fully aware that I can not start any vehicle in a garage with its garage door closed; and previous to start any vehicle I always fully open my garage door. It is a shared garage space, but each garage has its own garage door and garage parking space, and the garages are attached to the main building where we leave. It is an condominium and everybody who lives in such condominium are owners (rental or leasing is not allowed). Even with the garage door fully opened the fumes seem to make its way towards inside her unit, and according to her the smell inside her unit is strong and particularly strong in the basement area; thus I tend to believe that her basement is a low pressure zone that is in effect attracting the fumes that normally would be dissipated in an open garage. And even though the association is willing to try to help, they don't see to be effective in what they can do.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #4
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


It seems to me that this is far more her problem than yours.

You are using your garage exactly as it was designed and built to be used. Nothing more and nothing less. You are doing nothing wrong.


It would seem to me that this is her problem, not yours.
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #5
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Condos.....good reason to not buy them......but, since you do have it....I'm going to assume she did not pull a permit to install said door?

And....most areas have regulations about where a garage door can open into a house....

Next time she complains....ask her if you pullled a permit? Good chance she will never complain again.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:00 PM   #6
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


I agree. Call your local Fire Marshall; tell them a door was recently added. This affects all tenants for safety.

She may not be allowed to install a door; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par001.htm

If allowed, door requirements; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par014.htm

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Old 09-07-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Thanks for everybody who chimed in giving me hints, and a positive reassurance to the fact that I am not doing anything irregular.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:54 AM   #8
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Don't know for sure but the wall between the garage and all of the living units should have a higher fire rating for burn-time. Installing a door in that wall could be violating the integrity of the fire-wall and therefore violating existing building codes as they relate to fire.

Also, the poisonous gasses generated by running internal combustion engines is heavier than air I think. Therefore once the gasses rise to a level necessary to get around or under any door they would naturally "fall" into the basement.

Assuming everyone also has a basement, even though they may be divided are they of a constructed nature that would preclude any gaseous intrusion into the down-line units?

I'd say even though this really isn't your problem, at the same time it may well be a life threatening hazard to anyone in your unit as well as hers. I'm thinking building code violation here and that an inspection by a local building code enforcement office is in order.

You could be in a round about sort of way also gassing your family and putting your own health at risk. Some of those deadly gasses are odorless you know?

Get my drift?
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Definitely a code violation, but usually a fire problem supported by the fire inspector trumps a building inspector anytime. Also, contact the building or development association since they can also make straighten up quickly.

Dick
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:34 PM   #10
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


And this is exactly why I will never again own or live in a condo, even with the problems a house brings. Got fed up with all the nitpickers and whiners. Had a neighbor once try to have me arrested for entering his unit while he wasn't home because smoke was billowing out of all the windows and no one was answering the door. Cops of course thought he was nuts and advised I go back inside before I pounded on the guy (I was pretty pissed). I could go on and on with stories of some of the crap that went on while I lived in a condo.

Anyway, if you find for sure that the door is illegal tell her to fix it and then go pound sand. If she doesn't like that idea and no one else will do anything about it go get yourself an old Mercedes diesel to drive. I have one I'll give you if you promise to fire it up regularly in the garage.

I'm surprised the association isn't all over this considering they tend to be constantly sticking their nose in everyone's business or going on witch hunts to see what they can use to send out fine letters.Not all of the people reading this forum are adults. We're a G rated site.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:55 AM   #11
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Bud Cline: she has a steel door and frame, I believe that her door meets code, but was lacking any insulation or seal. Yeah, you are right in your assessment of the fume tending to go down into her basement due to the location of the door. I happen to have a door in my unit too ( I bought the unit with a door in it, but such door goes to my living room (same level of the garage) and it is properly sealed), and I understanding that having a door going to the garage represents a risk. Everybody has a basement, with exception of the carriage house, and there is a concrete wall between the basements but there are some openings through which pipes pass through. Yeah, I know they are odorless, I have a carbon monoxide detector in my place just in case (always had one). That woman is known to be a trouble maker in the whole association, and most of what she says do not make much of any sense.


Dick: I will certainly look into that, and that thing as Bud Cline indicated is health hazard for me as well since the gases could easy travel from her unit to mine through the basement.


Boutym: I was look having a very nice neighbor in one side, but a psycho in other side; now I am already in. I consider getting myself an old mercedes diesel truck but maybe my 2-stroke bike with extra oil added to the fuel-mix will do the trick.!


Thanks a lot guys for the responses! It is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:17 AM   #12
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a non-irritating, odorless, colorless gas that is somewhat lighter than air. A by-product of incomplete burning of coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas, fuel oil, kerosene, gasoline, fabrics and plastics, it is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States.

Although being lighter than air it will readily mix with air, this is why there is no set recommendation for where a CO alarm sensor is to be mounted.

As for your neighbor, something that may help, offer to seal up her door for her, this would stop the intrusion of fumes and help you build a relationship with the trouble maker, may save you many headaches down the road.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:43 PM   #13
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Dangerous/Complicated Situation of Door going to a Garage x Problems


Her steel door may be up to fire code but not to residential code unless it is sealed, with an automatic closer and does not open to a bedroom.
If it opens into the garage the threshold can only be a max. of 1-1/2" above the garage floor or a pad sized to code. If not it should open to the interior.
Her door is probably 'hacked' in anyway.

Andy.

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