Last week I removed some loft boards - guess what I found underneath?!
I was asked to survey a loft last week by a customer who wanted a new loft hatch and some additional boarding.
They already had some boarding done three years ago, by another company.
We always try to fulfil customers requests, but I did mention that the existing boarding would have to be up to scratch for us to be able to build next to or attach onto, in some way.
There could be a height difference, as the way we do it we always raise our loft floors above the insulation with an air gap, and in my experience not many companies actually care about this and either remove or squash insulation down.
I arrived at the house and was greeted by a nice couple who guided me upstairs to the tiny old wood hatch. As I looked up I noticed the hatch was not going to be right for the job as it needed to be bigger and hinged downwards so you can access the ladder and be able to use it safely and correctly.
I climbed in to the loft and immediately noticed the existing boarding. "Oh dear", I said as I glanced at the nailed down boards attached to the existing joists.
I explained to the customer what I was looking at, and I asked them if they had ever noticed a funny smell up there. The husband said he had when he had been in the loft. "Smells like damp", I said. "Yes, that's it" the customer replied.
I asked if I could remove some boards to investigate, which I did and I found that the underside of the boards had black mould spots and the insulation was damp and also mouldy and it stunk.
This had been caused by not leaving an air gap underneath the boards, and the boards had been compressing the insulation so much it couldn't breath. It's efficiency was very poor also, so instead of collecting air as it circulated, it was like a sponge collecting moisture instead.
The solution was to remove all the old mouldy boarding and the mouldy insulation and replace with some new 200mm rock wool insulation. Then to create a raised boarded storage area over the top of the insulation allowing an air gap for circulation, making a total height of 270mm.
As I always say, anyone can board a loft for storage but it's how it's boarded that matters.
You must always allow room under the boarding for air to flow. This allows good loft air circulation, preventing damp and condensation and for your insulation to work at its most efficient. The combination of all of these things will save you money on your fuel bills when its done right.
I have seen incorrect boarding time and time again.
I advise you to get an expert loft storage company in that knows what they are doing. See what sort of products they use to raise up a storage floor, if they even bother. Sometimes, just a bit of battening is no where near enough height to allow good air circulation under the boards.
The only product we would recommend and use is the LoftZone 270mm high raised loft floor solutions.
Get more info on this product from here
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