3.1001.9 Sealing Access Doors and Similar Intentional Penetrations

Topic: 
Attics
Subtopic: 
Penetrations and Chases
Desired Outcome: 
Attic access door properly sealed and insulated
For supporting material, see Referenced Standards and Building America Solution Center.
TitleSpecification(s)Objective(s)
3.1001.9a
Worker safety

All worker safety specifications will be in accordance with SWS 2.0100.3 Worker Safety

Ensure worker safety, especially in regard to fall protection considerations and contaminants found in demolition, such as asbestos, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, etc.

3.1001.9b
Occupant safety

Occupant will be notified of changes or repairs to be made

An occupant safety plan will be prepared and implemented

Ensure occupant safety

3.1001.9c
Pre-inspection

If attic access is below the air and thermal boundary Thermal boundary The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows heat flow , then the roof and any exterior roof access locations will be addressed in accordance with SWS 3.1801.2 Sealing and Insulating Exterior Roof Access Panels and Hatches

If attic access is part of the air and thermal boundary Thermal boundary The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows heat flow , it will be airtight and insulated

Ensure correct plan of work is selected to maintain the air and thermal boundary Thermal boundary The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows heat flow

3.1001.9d
Sealant selection

Sealants will be compatible with their intended surfaces and applied in accordance with manufacturer specifications

Selection will be durable, pest resistant, and have a weather-appropriate seal

Indoor sealants will be low volatile organic compound ( VOC VOC Volatile organic compound ) products that meet independent testing and verification protocols, such as Green Seal GS-36, "GREENGUARD Children and Schools," or comparable certifications

Fire-resistance-rated assemblies will be provided with sealants permitted by the authority having jurisdiction and adopted building code

Prevent intrusion of moisture and pests into the sealed assembly

Prevent exposing workers or occupants to excessive VOC VOC Volatile organic compound levels

Ensure sealant meets or exceeds the performance characteristics of the assembly and is compliant with local fire code requirements

3.1001.9e
Sealing

Access hatch frames will be sealed using caulk, gasket, weather strip, or otherwise sealed with an air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary material, suitable film, or solid material

Options will be installed with a latch, lock, or frictionally engaged components of a prefabricated unit above the opening that do not require a latch

A rigid dam having a height greater than the insulation to be installed will be constructed to contain insulation when attic access is opened

Prevent air leakage

3.1001.9f
Installation

 Access hatches will be insulated with noncompressible insulation to the same R-value as adjoining insulated assembly

Attic hatch rough opening will be surrounded with a durable, rigid protective baffle that is higher than the level of the surrounding attic floor insulation 

Achieve uniform R-value on the attic door or hatch

Achieve uniform R-value on the attic floor

Prevent loose attic floor insulation from entering the living area

3.1001.9g
Attachment

Insulation will be permanently attached and in complete contact with the air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary

Insulate to prescribed R-value

3.1001.9h
Quality assurance

Attic access will be adjusted to properly fit the jamb and allow for ease of operation and security

Attic access system will be tested for air leakage in accordance with ASTM ASTM ASTM International, www.astm.org E1186

Ensure proper operation of the attic access and hardware

Prevent air leakage through assembly

3.1001.9i
Durability

Completed measure will have a minimum expected service life of 20 years

Ensure a minimum expected service life

3.1001.9j
Building operations staff/occupant education

Purpose of insulation and proper hatch operation will be communicated to building operations staff and occupant

Occupant and staff understand how to use the hatch to ensure integrity of insulated and sealed assembly throughout service life