Boarding a New Build Loft - Trying To Find Best Solution...

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Hi all,

I'm hoping the wise words of those on here can help me out.

My partner and I live in 2 bed end of terrace that we moved into when it was first built, back in 2016. It is very small but has always done us well, but we now have a baby on the way due in November.

The problem we have is that the attic hatch is in the spare bedroom, which will be the babies room, and every time we open the attic hatch and go up there for storage we find that insulation fibres fall down which we are both concerned about as they will be falling into the babies room, onto their cot, clothes, changer etc.

We were told by the housebuilders when we moved in (Persimmon/Charles Church) that the attic shouldn't be used for storage but when you live in a tiny 2 bed terrace, you have to use the space available so I did put a small amount of boards up there last year on plastic loft legs, so as not to compress the insulation.

The insulation is very thick and the joists seem quite thin and aren't very tall - nowhere near as sturdy looking as my parents 1960's semi detached.

The only solution I have come up so far that solves the overall issue is to remove all the current fibre glass type insulation and replace with Celotex boards between the joists, with a view to boarding over this.

Seems drastic so I am hoping folk here can give me some ideas.

I have toyed with the idea of boarding the entire attic with loft stilts and chipboard but it was a surprising amount of nasty, filthy work and I don't think it will help with keeping the insulation fibres out of the air.

Any advice is welcome and if you have any questions I'll do my best.
 
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I have toyed with the idea of boarding the entire attic with loft stilts and chipboard but it was a surprising amount of nasty, filthy work and I don't think it will help with keeping the insulation fibres out of the air.

Insulation fibres aren't going to be flying about unless they're being disturbed by something. I am going to make an assumption that it's not insanely windy up there, and it's you going in and out that disturbs it. The solution to that would be to have things set up so that disturbing the insulation doesn't happen when going in and out of there. Have you got loose insulation hanging over the edge of the hatch, for example?

If you don't like loose glass fibres, you're not going to like all the little crumbs of Celotex you'll end up with when trimming it to fit the joists :D

I am not addressing whether additional loading on your ceiling joists is appropriate, there are enough threads on this topic already.
 
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Insulation fibres aren't going to be flying about unless they're being disturbed by something. I am going to make an assumption that it's not insanely windy up there, and it's you going in and out that disturbs it. The solution to that would be to have things set up so that disturbing the insulation doesn't happen when going in and out of there. Have you got loose insulation hanging over the edge of the hatch, for example?

If you don't like loose glass fibres, you're not going to like all the little crumbs of Celotex you'll end up with when trimming it to fit the joists :D

I am not addressing whether additional loading on your ceiling joists is appropriate, there are enough threads on this topic already.


To be honest I'm not bothered about the weight on the joists - we don't put anything stupid up there, mostly seasonal things like clothes in vacuum bags, Christmas decorations etc

Yes I suppose I do disturb the insulation surrounding the loft hatch when I enter but it is extremely hard not to - just the act of entering the loft and the angle of the ladder seems to invite brushing against the stuff.

I was up there for all of 2 minutes last week bringing a fan down and tried hard not to touch any insulation all.
I still found myself itching and coughing for a while afterwards.

It just seems like an excessively 'dusty' type of insulation - its hard to describe.
When I lived back home I could practically live in the attic it was so clean (despite being insulated). In this house, I loathe the idea of even opening the hatch.
If I shine a torch across anything that's up there you can see a layer of fibres on it.

Additional: Yes it does seem quite drafty up there but I wouldn't say 'windy'.
When one opens the hatch door you can feel the air passing through quite noticeably. I presumed that was normal.
 
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Yes I suppose I do disturb the insulation surrounding the loft hatch when I enter but it is extremely hard not to - just the act of entering the loft and the angle of the ladder seems to invite brushing against the stuff.

Box it in around the loft hatch. If you can't get in and out without disturbing it, that's probably 90% of your problem.
 
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Just drape and staple a load of old bed sheets over the insulation - the fibres won't get through - basic but effective.
 
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Thanks for the advice.

I don't have any old bed sheets sadly, do you think some sort of plastic like a polythene sheet would work or is this likely to cause damp issues as it's not breathable?

Can you recommend an alternative to bed sheets that I could buy?

Many thanks.
 
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Decorators drop cloths would do. Or hit your local charity shops, see what sheets they have.
 
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