I have been noticing a trend developing in homes with attached garages. A lot of home owners have opted to install a screen door between the garage and the house. Those who have installed them swear by them. They seem to be in agreement that opening the garage doors and allowing the air to pass through their home is refreshing. It allows a cross breeze that may not otherwise be attained. Their reasoning is pretty good and has even made me question my stance against this practice. I will present the facts and let you decide if a screen door between your garage and your house is a good idea or not.
First of all, what type of door is recommended for use between the garage and the living space in a house? The International Residential Code (IRC) requires either a solid wood door with a minimum thickness of 1 3/8 or a fire rated door able to withstand fire penetration for 20 minutes. The Uniform Building Code (UBC) uses the same standards but also requires doors between garages and living space be self closing and self latching.
Garage door to living space
Screen door not recommended!
So what is the big deal? Does it really matter? Think about this, your garage, along with your kitchen, is one of the two most likely places for a house fire to begin. Most garages have flammable and potentially dangerous materials in it which could cause a fire at any time. No matter how much you spend on a screen door, it wont slow down a spreading fire.
The other main reason to have a solid door between your garage and your house is Carbon Monoxide (CO). CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is known to cause death. One of the most common areas to find CO is in the garage. I dont know about you, but I dont want to breathe any more CO than I have to.
After re-evaluating the facts, my stance against installing screen doors between a garage and living space is still the same. In my opinion the amount of fresh air you get flowing through the house isnt worth the risk involved. Do you think it is worth it? Either way, I dont recommend installing that screen door.
Garage door screen
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