Stair 4

When people build gypsum walls around stair enclosures there are an array of issues that can arise.  The one that concerns me the most is that you have a head of wall joint and a bottom of wall joint at EVERY floor. 

There is no way to get traditional firestop sealants and sprays behind the stair runner. 

This means you will have about 18 inches at the top and bottom of the wall on every floor, on each side of the stairs where your firestop will not be installed. 

Tomorrow I will explain another reason I don’t like exit shafts made of gypsum board.

#BuildBetter #FirestopCoffeeBreakTraining

Stair 3

Block walls are my second favorite type of walls for an exit shaft. Second to concrete because the block wall sits on the concrete floor and it will need to be firestopped at the top of the wall. 

This is done after the stairs are installed. If it’s not done properly any breach which could mean fire and smoke could enter the exit stairs. 

Here is your weak point ~ When the stair stringer runs against the floor slab, how is anyone going to install firestop in the top of wall joint behind the stair stringer?

If you deal with this, what is your solution?

Tomorrow I will tell you why I hate gypsum walls for exit stair enclosure. In the meantime, let me know what you think.

#BuildBetter #FirestopCoffeeBreakTraining

Stair 2

If you have to design or build an exit stair shaft, what do you build the walls out of and why?

My favorite type of stairs are solid concrete because there are no joints. There is no opportunity for fire or smoke to get through where the wall transitions from one floor to the next. 

What are your thoughts on that? Is that how you design or build? If not, why not?

Tomorrow I will tell you why I’m not a fan of block walls in exit stairs. 

#BuildBetter #FirestopCoffeeBreakTraining

Shaft wall firestop made easy

If you have been watching this video series you may have a new insight on how complicated firestop head of wall firestop joints are. This video will be  welcome surprise, because we will introduce you to a product that will make your life a whole lot easier. Check it out and let me know what you think of it.


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How are you patching your 1 hour rated walls?

Today’s Topic- How do you properly patch a one hour rated wall?


Hi everyone. I hope you are doing well despite the lock down and virus. We are breathing easy over here and I pray that the same is true for you, your family and your teams.


I have been capitalizing on this time to develop a new skill and I can’t wait to share the results with you. It will be some training videos.


One of them will discuss the difference between regular drywall and type X, another will talk about type X drywall vs type C.  Since that is all coming down the pike in the next week or two, I wanted to share somethings that will compliment that discussion.


Once you have built a rated wall at some point in time its likely SOMEONE will poke a hole in it. This could happen during construction if someone decides to relocate a pipe for example.


So how do you patch it. If you ask the Gypsum Association, this is how you should patch a rated wall. Please take a moment to look over this so you understand. One of the videos that will be coming  will talk about how rated walls are tested, but the one that I hope to get to you first will talk about the difference between regular drywall and we will have a complex discussion about fire dynamics that is actually kinda fun. For now, I will leave you with this from US!


Next week we will talk about how to patch a two hour rated wall, because those are really different.