Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

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oneleaf
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Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by oneleaf » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:08 pm

We had a leak coming down the upstairs shower valve down into the garage, that required cutting up some drywall. I am left with a rectangular hole down there of about 2 ft X 1 ft.

It doesn't bother us having a hole there since it's the garage. And if there was ever another leak, we'd catch it earlier if we just leave it that way. We'd just fix it up before we sold the house (whenever that is) or if we had other renovation done.

Any downsides to leaving a big hole in the ceiling like that? Thanks for any advice!

renue74
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by renue74 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:15 pm

I actually have a hole in my garage ceiling from a water leak in the bathroom.

I will patch it, but it's not high priority for me.

The one thing is the hole could remotely be a place for birds to fly into if you leave your garage open.

Also, my ceiling actually has insulation in it....so the drywall did keep that from getting damp.

ralph124cf
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by ralph124cf » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:17 pm

Depends mostly on the climate. If you are some place like San Diego, probably no negatives, If you are in Minot, North Dakota, the upstairs bathroom could get mighty cold and could freeze the pipes.

Ralph

JBTX
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by JBTX » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:24 pm

Probably depends on how much moisture you have. If you live in an area with a lot of moisture excessive moisture in the attic can cause problems.

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indexfundfan
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by indexfundfan » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:36 pm

You can put in an access panel to cover it up.
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Point
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by Point » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:04 pm

Yes, there is a problem: Carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a reason why all the walls and ceilings of a garage space are sealed adjacent to the house interior -- to keep the gas from entering the house.

neilpilot
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:10 pm

Point wrote:Yes, there is a problem: Carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a reason why all the walls and ceilings of a garage space are sealed adjacent to the house interior -- to keep the gas from entering the house.
This implies that CO poisoning is an issue in the garage, but under normal conditions that just isn't the case.

doneat53
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by doneat53 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:15 pm

Garages are dry walled and sealed also as a "firewall" to the rest of the home since fires often start in the garage.

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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by daveydoo » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:09 am

Point wrote:Yes, there is a problem: Carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a reason why all the walls and ceilings of a garage space are sealed adjacent to the house interior -- to keep the gas from entering the house.
Good point
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oneleaf
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by oneleaf » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:13 am

Thanks for the replies. We have never had an issue with moisture. Also, there are no cars in the garage or other equipment that might give off carbon monoxide. We just use it for storage.

whomever
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by whomever » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:38 am

If you don't care about aesthetics (and if you're willing to leave the hole I assume you're not) drywall is really easy to patch.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:16 am

Pests maybe?
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arsenalfan
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by arsenalfan » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:32 am

I put one of these everywhere I've had a leak.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000JOK1 ... SQ9Q4J79BZ

why3not
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by why3not » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:37 am

doneat53 wrote:Garages are dry walled and sealed also as a "firewall" to the rest of the home since fires often start in the garage.
+1
Most building codes consider a garage a fire hazard (mostly due to the type of materials stored there). Even if your's isn't when you go to sell, it won't matter to whomever is inspecting your house & you will almost certainly have to patch the hole then. Why not just do it now rather than later?

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jimgour
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by jimgour » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:42 am

Yes, there is a problem. Even if it is a small hole, it is a big problem. As stated above, the drywall in garages is required to be a fire wall. That is the biggest problem. The CO problem is of lower concern (CO is heavier than air), but if enough fills up the garage and is forced up into the house, it is deadly. You won't just cough and wake up, you will die. Get it fixed and SEALED properly.

Low probability of problems, but extremely serious consequences!

Former Fire Marshal here who has seen what can happen (and they were children),
Jim

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just frank
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by just frank » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:52 am

Keep in mind that due to natural convection, in cold weather most of the air in your house gets sucked in from the bottom. With a large hole like that, in the winter most of the air you're breathing in the house could come from the garage. If it is all fresh and clean in there, I guess you'd be ok with that.

-- If you store gasoline or gasoline powered equipment in there, the hole will allow gasoline vapors into the house. Such vapors are carcinogenic, but not nearly as much as they were in 20th century (b/c of benzene regulations). If yes to gasoline, also a fireblock problem.

-- If you live in a radon area, it is conceivable that this change has altered your radon level...I don't personally care about radon though.

-- The opening could increase the amount of insects into your house. My wife hates bugs in the house.

-- By increasing your airflow through your garage and into your house, the hole will make your garage colder in the winter, damper in the summer (possibly molding your stored items) and increase your energy bills year round. Depending on unknown house factors, it could be in the few % range (that is how much I saved by airsealing my garage).

-- If it is moldy or dusty in there, those allergens can enter the house and worsen allergies/asthma of occupants in the house.

-- If you operate cars in the driveway, you will be increasing the exhaust/pollution levels in your house with this hole. I had CO alarms in my house once from a small generator in my driveway...the CO entered through the un-airsealed garage.

-- You will need to fix it at resale anyway...the next folks might put cars in there.

All that said, most people's attached garages are drywalled but not properly airsealed, and all the above problems are present in their house PLUS CO, exhaust and gasoline vapors in their case. This it turns out is a MAJOR cause of indoor pollution and overall carcinogen exposure in the US.

I have airsealed my car storing, attached garage carefully and power-ventilate it 24/7 with a small fan.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:58 am

It is super easy to glue and nail up 4 pieces of door frame molding to create a rectangular picture frame around the hole and then cut a small piece of drywall to fit inside the frame and act as an access panel. A handyman should be able to create the frame and panel and install it in less than 1 hour using about $15 worth of materials.

ZapRowsdower
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by ZapRowsdower » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:07 am

How about one of these?

https://www.amazon.com/Oatey-34044-Acce ... B005SRVJ0U

Not sure if this is approved for a garage ceiling since it isn't airtight, but I've used these in many places that I've updated plumbing so I can get back in if need be.

GAAP
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by GAAP » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:09 am

You may not have any current problems -- and you'll be just fine as long as there are no pests, no vehicles in the garage, nothing else that burns fuel (portable heater, water heater, furnace), don't have a fire, and don't do anything that would bring a building inspector in the garage, don't have an insurance inspection, and don't want to sell the house.

Just fix it .

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:18 am

After my upstairs toilet leaked, and created a wet spot in the garage ceiling, I just removed all the damp material and covered the hole with a piece of plywood. I painted the plywood, and it looks like it has been there all along.

I would definitely seal the hole, as it seems to me that if there was a fire in the garage, the hole could act like a chimney.

Broken Man 1999
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:28 am

doneat53 wrote:Garages are dry walled and sealed also as a "firewall" to the rest of the home since fires often start in the garage.
This is the reason I would not leave it open. Garages typically have 1-hour fire rated common walls/ceilings (where the garage attatches to a living space) and ceilings (because once in the attic fire can easily and quickly spread to the entire home). The idea is to keep the fire contained in the garage for as long as possible before it reaches an occupied space.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:43 am

> Yes, there is a problem: Carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is the thing. I think a barrier of some sort is also desirable to make it more difficult for flames to get into the main structure.

If you sell expect the home inspector to flag it (been there, done that).

If you don't run a car in the garage and you don't store flammable materials then you can let it go. Until you sell.

TBillT
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by TBillT » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:48 am

jimgour wrote: The CO problem is of lower concern (CO is heavier than air), but if enough fills up the garage and is forced up into the house, it is deadly.
CO is not heavier than air however.
Molecular weight of CO 12+16=28 MW is about the same as air (29 MW).

Interesting topic though as I have an intentional hole, after we had some dry wall fall we it replaced but I left a utility hole. Have to think about that. I would assume fire hazard is the bigger concern as cars are very low CO these days compared to when the house was originally built. But I don't think my garage was air-tight when we bought it, gaps around the dry wall.

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CABob
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by CABob » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:56 am

I suggest you contact your local building code folks to find out what their requirements are. My last two homes did not have ceilings in the garage and I assume they met code. Of course, in both cases there was not a living area above the garage.
Bob

samtex
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by samtex » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:18 pm

jimgour wrote:Yes, there is a problem. Even if it is a small hole, it is a big problem. As stated above, the drywall in garages is required to be a fire wall. That is the biggest problem. The CO problem is of lower concern (CO is heavier than air), but if enough fills up the garage and is forced up into the house, it is deadly. You won't just cough and wake up, you will die. Get it fixed and SEALED properly.

Low probability of problems, but extremely serious consequences!

Former Fire Marshal here who has seen what can happen (and they were children),
Jim
Perhaps in your area but I assume it would vary by location/local code. In our area/state, I have never seen an actually firewall in a single residence home. Condos / apts, commercial buildings maybe..

Samtex

1dataman
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by 1dataman » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:24 pm

The main purpose for drywall in the garage is to give you a firewall barrier. A hole in the ceiling is putting you and your family at risk.

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just frank
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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by just frank » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:17 pm

In fact, the drywall used in attached garages is a more fire-resistant type than conventional drywall.

Its supposed to be 5/8", type 'X' which has glass fibers embedded in the gypsum.

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Re: Any problem leaving a hole in ceiling of garage?

Post by Yooper » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:17 pm

samtex wrote:
jimgour wrote:Yes, there is a problem. Even if it is a small hole, it is a big problem. As stated above, the drywall in garages is required to be a fire wall. That is the biggest problem. The CO problem is of lower concern (CO is heavier than air), but if enough fills up the garage and is forced up into the house, it is deadly. You won't just cough and wake up, you will die. Get it fixed and SEALED properly.

Low probability of problems, but extremely serious consequences!

Former Fire Marshal here who has seen what can happen (and they were children),
Jim
Perhaps in your area but I assume it would vary by location/local code. In our area/state, I have never seen an actually firewall in a single residence home. Condos / apts, commercial buildings maybe..

Samtex
At the risk of speaking for someone else, I think what he meant was the "type" of drywall. When my attached garage was built, I know our local code (we're a small town so our local code simply follows the general building code) required a different type of drywall be used on the wall (of the garage) that faced/touched the house. Had a slightly greater resistance to fire, but in all other ways had the same look and feel of regular drywall. It wasn't a true "fire wall" but served the same purpose. In fact, if the exterior wall of the garage was less than 5' from the property line, it also would require this particular type of drywall (again, on the inside of the garage).

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