Introduction: Simple Tools to Make Loft Insulation Easier (for Old Codgers)
This is how I made some tools to make insulating my loft easier on my already bad back.
I live in a house that is almost 100years old, it wa renovated a few years ago and got a new roof and widows etc. It was never insulated before so after the last few winters of extreme weather i decided that i would insulate the roof space as it would both save on the expense of heating the house and hopefully help reduce the drop in temperature during the night when the heating is not usually on, the temperature of my bedroom would drop by as much as 10*c on during average weather and in extreme weather could drop by much more.
I have a back injury that causes my allot of pain in cold weather and this can leave me unable to do the simplest o jobs, I finally found out what was causing the problem and have found that if i don't do certain things like heavy lifting and bending that would aggravate the injury that the pain could be controlled to a reasonable degree.
I made some simple tools to help with the task of insulating the loft. a pair of pronged poles to help push the insulation into the awkward places in the roof space that i would be forced to crawl into if i didn't have them, they also help reduce the contact with the rolls of insulation and this helps reduce the amount o dust that starts to rise of the rolls when they are handled.
I also have a distinct fear of falling though the ceiling as because the rafters are over 80+ years old and are not a heavy as today's regulation timbers so i made 3 boards that would make it much safer to move around the roof space. I made the boards so they could be lifted with the pronged poles without the need to bend over.
I got help to load the rolls into the roof space a week earlier and had needed a few days to recover before starting the job of laying it.
So early one Saturday morning I suited up in a disposable overall, triple layers of latex gloves and a respirator dust mask also a pair of safety goggles just to be safe but proved to be a nuisance with my glasses and I dared to be unsafe as I doubted that there would be any health and safety people in my roof space. I also preloaded myself with enough prescription pain killers that would turn most people into zombies to make the job go as easy as possible.
The job took about 2 hours to do with a 10 min break in the middle to re hydrate as the overall and protective gear had my breached in sweat in no time. The tools proved most useful and allowed my to get the insulation poked into the tightest of corners without the need to crawl around on my hands and knees. The boards allowed me to move around easily and provide a steady platform.
I have no pics of doing the job as i had enough to cope without trying to take a series of pictures
I found that one pole was actually enough to do the job, one remains in the lot as it got covered up about half way through and was not noticed untill finished and by that time i had a double layer in place over my bedroom and I didn't feel like looking or it.
The pole worked well but but the time i was finished the U hook had given up the ghost and broke at the weld but then it was not designed to install insulation.
I had over estimated how much insulation i needed and had 2 extra rolls left over so i added an extra layer over my bedroom and study giving me 800mm of insulation over these 2 rooms. The first night the temperature dropped only a few degrees c and since then i have been sleeping better and not waking up as sore like i normally do in cold weather. A week on i have noticed that the heating does not need to be on as much and the heat holds for longer so a win on several levels.
3 broom handles
3 x 1mtr fence boards
70mm m6 lag bolts
m6 wing nuts
2 x U hooks
Safety equipment used when laying the insulation i very important, this stuff is seriously itchy if you come in contact with it i had only a few bits of my face exposed and i was itchy in this area for the rest of the day even after i had washed any exposed areas. Wear old cloths that you don't mind trowing out after use as the disposable overall can snag or tear when carrying out the work and is your clothes come in contact with the lagging they can remain itchy even after washing.
Safety equipment used.
Disposable overall with hood, (the zipper bust almost as soon a i put the thing onso i used masking tape to tape it shut and patch any holes that happend as i was working, it only had to last a few hours so it didn't have to look pretty.
Dust mask, I used a respirator dust mask to give me the best protection, avoid cheap dust mask when working with this stuff, I once had to run a cable though an insulated roof space in a cloud of glass fiber dust (my cheap asshole of a boss would not get me a dust masks and i was dumb enough to soldier on to get the gob done) I coughed m guts out that night and withing 3 months i had come down with pneumonia that i blame on working in that roof space with out a dust mask
Latex gloves, I used 3 layers of gloves on each hand as i did not want to come in contact with the gla fiber at any time, the first layer was in tatters by the end of the job.
Safety goggles, its advised to wear safety goggles when using this type of insulation, I got some but found that you caused my glasses to mist up so much i had to throw caution to the wind, my glasses do give me some basic protection but not as good as safety goggles.
The pronged poles will prove useful to anyone who is about to insulate a roof space, the side handles are optional but do prove to be easy on the wrists.
Thanks for looking and I hope you find the idea useful.