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Silly little question - clear out the 100 years of debris ?

Discussion in 'Building' started by slowlybutsurely, 19 Jul 2014.

  1. slowlybutsurely

    slowlybutsurely

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    This question is going to show me up as a DIYer ...

    House is 100 years old. I've got some floor boards up and there is a lot of builder's debris down there. Under all the junk, there is the lath/plaster of the ceiling below:




    The neat-freak part of me wants to clean it all up.
    The lazy part says just leave it alone.
    The worrier part of me wonders if I might actually do some harm by disturbing stuff that been there for decades and hasn't caused any problems so far.
    The over-thinker part of me wonders if this mess is somehow doing some good (absorbing moisture, weighting down the laths, confusing insects, I don't know ...).

    It's ok, I can sleep at night with this issue. It's not a big deal.

    But quick poll - what would you do?

    Any building regs (or fire regs) that come into play?


    Thanks all.
     
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  3. tombodge

    tombodge

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    Ive just removed a non load bearing wall and to save on a skip ive chucked all the old plaster under the floor boards :D.

    Im reusing the brick but i can't see a reason not but waste down there
     
  4. alan333

    alan333

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    I had an old first-floor flat with loads of "debris" under my floorboards, including ashes from old fires etc. The debris wasn't sitting directly on the lath of the ceiling below, there was sort-of "plates" above the lath, but under the debris (if you get me). I found out that this was how they insulated the noise between floors in the olden days, and also it provided a fire retardant.

    If it's not doing any harm I'd leave it alone. Maybe if it's putting pressure on the ceilings below I'd remove it, and I'd maybe pick out the worst of the flammable bits of paper etc, but other than that I'd leave it.
     
  5. Nige F

    Nige F

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    As it`s a lath ceiling - leave it alone - if you go disturbing the plaster squeezed up to key between the laths , it`ll weaken it more than 100 years of laying undisturbed ;)
     
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  7. gregers

    gregers

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    they used to do this a lot in a certain area where i live.you needed a ladder to get down to the oversite,so any kind of building work carried out and down it went.
    no one realized it was that deep for a reason,WATER TABLE many peeps ended up with flooded ground floors.kept us in business for a long time. :LOL:
     
  8. ree

    ree

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    Perhaps, hand remove all debris that is accessible.

    No pipe clips are visible so maybe you have squeak free pipework?

    Isolate all touching cables and flexes from touching the pipework - hot pipes could burn thro and short the cables.

    The motorised zone valve flex is not properly secured into the junction box.

    The debris is merely trash thrown down there by lazy whoevers - it has no function.

    As for chucking debris down onto the oversite, well perhaps you will have to crawl & work over a debris strewn sub area one day?
    Any oversite wood debris will attract fungi and wood worm.

    Why did you lift the floor?
     
  9. slowlybutsurely

    slowlybutsurely

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    A lot happens in 100 years. Obviously none of the wires or pipes in the pics are that old but the red wire is part of an obsolete fire alarm system that seems to be the most recent addition - maybe about 15 years ago.

    None of the wires shown in these particular photos are live. Don't know what they are, but no A/C power.
    The 15mm copper pipe is abandoned.
    The 22mm pipes are the central heating flow and returns, but they aren't clipped in you're right.
    The zone valve is not functional. The house no longer has zone controls.

    Floorboards came up to get to a shower waste trap that I wanted to move for a bigger shower tray.
     
  10. ree

    ree

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    Thank you for taking the trouble to answer.

    AAMOI: You do not want any abandoned wet pipes in either the domestic nor the heating side. Redundant pipes can be a source of, at worst, Legionnaire's Disease or other difficulties.

    Drain them, remove or cap them off. Just saying.
     
  11. DIYnot Local

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