removing ceiling, bit concerned about black dust and cleanup

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hi all, my first post!! im looking to remove the ceilings on my 1930-40's home i recently purchased, i can work out of most of the joist from the loft and thinking of doing room by room even though the entire upstairs ceiling needs to be replaced with plasterboard in my own opinion, they are the cork/mdf/hair type boards which are sagging in places/joint marks appearing/wavy ceiling. Im somewhat concerned about the black dust under the insulation as i searched this on the net and there are articles health effects from fibre glass dust / black dust etc..??, is it advisable to bag the insulation in the loft then hoover the ceiling from loft area before breaking the boards to minimise dust? any tips on this would be greatly appreciated. thanks. by the way, there is about 5mm of this black stuff under the insulation, im not sure what it is or where it comes from.... the thought of all that dust falling down into the room is daunting me
 
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Vented loft spaces get dirty. It is probably old smoke and dust from before the insulation was laid. I'd go with bagging and hoovering as you suggest. Seriously consider an asbestos survey before you start ripping apart any old building.

The room below will get filthy. I'd seal the floor with plastic sheet taped to the skirting board and tape round the door too. You'll need to wear a good dust mask, goggles, gloves and hard hat. Get yourself several disposable overalls with hoods. Don't forget to seal the cleaning equipment in the room with you before you start together with plenty of spare bags. (Dyson bagless cleaners have filters that block up quickly with building dust - consider removing them for the initial clean up.) Don't be tempted to hoover up rubble - it's a killer for flexible hoses.
 
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That's all good advice which you should follow it closely. Hacking down lath and plaster ceilings is THE worse job in the world. And despite the sealing of doors and floor etc. you will still have a layer of black dust over everything for days afterwards.
 
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Oh, and start with the smallest room. After that, you might decide to leave the rest of the existing ceilings and put up battens and plasterboard below. ;)

Don't forget to use moisture resistant plasterboard in the bathroom.

Also, I'd use foil-backed board throughout to give you a vapour barrier. Although not strictly necessary with a simple ventilated loft, it keeps your options open (e.g. if you later put down any flooring in the loft).
 
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Hacking down lath and plaster ceilings is THE worse job in the world.

Never has a truer statement been made! I've done it in our house and hope I never have to do it again. Wore a face mask, googles etc... and was still coughing up dust several days later.

Some other guys are suggesting alternatives to pulling it down. Unless you really feel it needs to come down - i'd take their advice and install new ceiling over (or should it be under) it?
 
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@OP, why can't you just overboard the ceilings?
Exactly. I suggested he put up battens first as he can poke around to find the joists and be sure he's found it when the screws goes tight. Also, with sagging boards, battens would give some clearance and help support the old ceiling.
 
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It was my job as the young labourer to remove 200 yr old l & p ceilings in an old building.

I scrambled into the loft with a spade and thrashed them down from above.

I used an old tee shirt as a mask.

I have never ever seen dust like it and never will. It was so dense you could not even see the large windows as the density of the dust completely cut out the light.
 
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thanks for all your replies. i am seriously now thinking of overboarding, will have to find out a bit more about the batton frame approach, my house is a new purchase and empty needing a refurb, no furniture, is it not best to git rid of the horrible dust if i am to live there in years to come, or is it best to leave it and forget about it and board the loft floor if and when neccessary. i think im going to have ago with the worst room first, the main bedroom! removing the whole board then plasterboarding, with the others i could reskim maybe, however they have a textured paper on top so plasterboarding on top maybe the best idea, if im gonna baton both floors that will be a job in itself but i guess would be a proper job. will try to get some pictures up tomorrow, if its possible to do so. thanks again everybody. off now to buy a henry.... or charles!!
 
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If you are going to board the loft floor, I would suggest you put up foil backed plasterboard underneath. Otherwise water vapour will be trapped beneath the loft floor and condense.

I am concerned that your existing boards are the "cork/mdf/hair type". Could be fibre board but anything fibrous dating back 40 years or more, I'd be worried about asbestos.

I would batten and board the whole lot with foil backed and leave the old dirt and boards alone.
 
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i agree with prenticeboyofderry, its just creating more work putting up battons if u can just screw to origional joists as long as the origional boards dont stop the new ones being screwed up properly due to them sagging down too much.
 

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