Your Loft Occupies Approximately One -Third of the Floor Space Within Your Home; So it Goes Without Saying That This Unusable Space Could be Put to Far Better Use if Loft Boarding Were Installed to Create Extra Valuable Storage Space.
Loft Boarding Your Loft is the Most Practical Way of Creating Additional Storage Space, "When Installed Correctly".
So what type of Loft boarding or Loft Flooring suits your home best and what should a homeowner consider when making this decision?
Loft Boarding Your Loft and Making the Right Choice
Never Install Loft Boarding Into a Loft that Has been Insulated with Polystyrene:
Polystyrene was commonly used as loft insulation, a place that cables will normally run. The plasticisers used to make the PVC insulator on cables reacts with polystyrene resulting in the polystyrene appearing to "melt". The plasticiser migrates out of the cable making it brittle and causes its insulating properties to break down. The cable will eventually fail; installing loft boarding over the top of polystyrene insulation, in effect encapsulating it means that cables will get hotter due to the thermal insulation properties of polystyrene preventing the cable from losing heat, this is both a fire and electrocution Hazard.
Loft Boarding Directly onto the Joists:
We have witnessed many cases of Loft Boarding or Loft Flooring being secured Straight onto the existing Joists of a property, which would involve removing or compressing the existing insulation. In many cases Installers have cut into the ceiling joists to lower cables to allow for boarding to be fixed on top! Unlike some loft boarding companies, Loft Boarding Midlands do not recommend this at all, as this will seriously compromise the integrity of the ceiling, create serious condensation and damp Issues.
Another consideration rarely taken into account is the importance of air circulation within a loft space. In order to reduce the risk of condensation forming there is a basic requirement for Cross Ventilation. The basic requirements for ventilating a traditional cold loft space, are that air should enter the loft at "The Lowest Point" (under the eves) on one side of the roof and "Exit on the Other".
Sub-Frame Loft Boarding
The most effective way of boarding a loft up until now would be to build a loft sub frame for the new loft boards to be secured. 4x2 timbers are laid in the opposite direction to the original joists, helping to distribute the load across the ceiling however, this method will mean that a considerable amount of additional weight will now be bearing down on the existing beams. This can be particularly problematic on older buildings where the joist are generally quite weak.
Low Level Loft Boarding and the use of Moisture Resistant Boards:
The vast majority of loft boarding companies utilise P5 Moisture resistant Boards when boarding a loft, however this particular product is designed to be installed internally where there is a high risk of of spillage or excess moisture such as kitchens and bathrooms. Moisture resistant boards have no meaningful purpose been installed within a loft in fact quite the contrary.
Water vapour can pass through most building materials and will enter the roof space through the plasterboard ceilings with a greater amount entering through air gaps in ceilings, such as around cables, pipes, loft hatches and downlighters. You are unlikely to prevent condensation in the roof space completely so is the application of moisture resistant boarding a preventative measure or not? Suppressing the existence of moisture within the loft is a recipe for disaster, as the moist air will condensate on the underside of the boards and migrate downwards forming on the joist below this will in time erode the joists.