The photo on the left is a photo of an older home in Aurora Colorado inspected by my company, Magpie Property Inspections. The home has an attached garage which does not have proper fire prevention in place between the garage and habitable areas inside the home. The photo on the right was taken from the garage in a new home constructed in Denver, Colorado.
Because garages contain a number of potential fire causing items like cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, gas cans etc., it is required that a fire retardant barrier be in stalled between the garage and house to protect the interior of the home. Current practice involves installing Type X Fire rated drywall. It should be installed between the walls and ceiling immediately adjacent to interior areas of the home. It is also important that any holes or damage in these areas be repaired and sealed properly to maintain fire protection as required by most building codes.
Fire-rated drywall, can stand up to one hour of fire in laboratory conditions without combusting or burning through. Standard drywall can withstand up to 30 minutes of fire under the same conditions.
Type X drywall contains gypsum strengthened with a fiberglass core. While standard drywall is 1/2-inch thick, fire-rated drywall is generally 5/8-inch thick and much denser than standard sheetrock. Most building codes require that fire-rated drywall be used in areas near furnaces, wood-burning stoves and garages. Fire-rated drywall is commonly available, and contractors and homeowners can purchase it from most retailers that sell drywall.
This is something that should be checked carefully during a home inspection. It is a very important safety issue to make sure garages have the correct type of drywall in place and that it completely seals all areas which adjoin livable spaces of the homes interior.