Loft Boarding Questions

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Hi, I'm a fairly competent DIY'er and looking to board my loft myself. However havent done it before and had a couple of questions.

1. (See photo) When investigating some of the rolled insulation, I found some loose fill material - upon Googling, it seems this is additional loose fill insulation that has been used. But please let me know if its not

2. (See photo) I am not familiar with the different types of insulation but assume this is the old fibre stuff - and as such I should be careful if I'm up there for the day - e.g. FP3 mask, use old clothes and shake them outside after use/use their own wash etc?

3. I know I will need to roll up the insulation to lay down the loft legs (using 300mm legs as insulation is 250mm). When I put down the insulation after the legs are on - any technique on how to get the insulation down quickly would be appreciated - or is just a case of cutting gap with stanley or just using force for the leg to tear a gap in the insulation

Thanks

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Hi,

I'm only a DIY'er also, so feel free to ignore, and I may be very wrong! :)

To me, the loose fill insulation looks like vermiculite.

There has been an issue with vermiculite being contaminated with asbestos in the USA for many years. Before the 90's some of the vermiculite insulation installed in UK homes was imported from the US.
There may be a chance that the loose fill insulation is contaminated, depending on when it was laid.
It can also be quite difficult to test for the contamination, unlike with for instance, sheet materials.

The safest option is just to leave it undisturbed underneath the fibreglass.

So given this, yes ffp3 masks and disposable overalls would be a good idea, when working up in the loft.

...and don't overly worry about this. It isn't considered a huge risk in the UK. Just take a bit more thought and care over your boarding plans :)
 

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Hi,

To me, the loose fill insulation looks like vermiculite.

There has been an issue with vermiculite being contaminated with asbestos in the USA for many years. Before the 90's some of the vermiculite insulation installed in UK homes was imported from the US.
There may be a chance that the loose fill insulation is contaminated, depending on when it was laid.
It can also be quite difficult to test for the contamination, unlike with for instance, sheet materials.

Ah sh&t. Appreciate you telling me of the danger, but now I'm thinking how I could do the job. The fibre insulation is covered thick over the loose vermiculite like insulation - however from all the videos I've watched, they all say to roll up the fibre insulation to uncover the joists for which I can then attach the legs too. I could in theory feel under the insulation for the joist and then cut big holes in the insulation to then fit the loft legs - but I imagine doing this still has a risk of disturbance of potential asbestos albeit much lower as the insulation doesnt sit on the joists but a good couple inches below on top of the plasterboard ceiling............ Hmmnn

Definitely thinking of getting a sample tested now too. Ensuring the company I use can analyse the results.........Thing is, dont know what I will do if it uncovers it is asbestos, dont think I have c£2k for professional removal - so the alternative would be to never go up the loft, or put on PPE, board and accept some risk including some fibres trailing into the 1st floor as I'll have residue fibres on my clothes/they could fall down the hatch.

Lots of things to consider now.
 
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Now you are definitely overthinking! :)

It really isn't anything to worry about.
After 1990, the mine with the contamination closed and there is very likely to be no asbestos.
Before 1990, there may be contamination, but it could be in a tiny fraction of the material and may be fully enclosed by the vermiculite itself.
The problem is, it is so difficult to tell.
So the general advice is to treat it as contaminated and just leave it alone.

I have boarded my loft using the Loftzone Storefloor and I pushed that through the insulation from the top. It only required one screw per leg and that was easily done.

As long as you take your time and wear the PPE, the risk is incredibly low. And the use of a properly boarded storage area will be a lot less risky than just shoving your Christmas decs on top of the insulation! ;)

Making a plastic sheeted 'changing room' at the bottom of the loft ladder may help allay any fears of dragging contamination through the house.
And winter is definitely the best time to do this. You really don't want to be up in a loft in full PPE in the summer! :)
 
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Now you are definitely overthinking! :)


I have boarded my loft using the Loftzone Storefloor and I pushed that through the insulation from the top. It only required one screw per leg and that was easily done.

:)

Thanks - I still haven't quote worked out how I do it process wise, I was planning on lifting all the insulation then making my way installing legs from the furthest side to the closest side - however if the insulation is still there, I'm going to either need to start closest to the hatch and make my way to the furthest side, or again work my way to the furthest side on top of the insulation (using crawl board), feeling for the joists and do as you suggest.
 

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