Your Loft Occupies Approximately One -Third of the Floor Space Within Your Home
85% of Homeowners Say That This Unusable Space Is Put to Far Better Use When Loft Boarding Is Installed to Create Extra Valuable Storage Space.
Boarding Your Loft is the Most Practical Way of Creating Additional Storage Space, "When Installed Correctly".
So what type of Loft Flooring suits your home best and what should a homeowner consider when making this decision?
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; this is both a fire and electrocution Hazard.
Installing Loft Boards 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! Loft Boarding Midlands does not recommend this at all, as this will seriously compromise the integrity of the ceiling, and 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:
Water vapor 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.