I live in an early 1900s house which has quite a large loft. I've got some 100mm insulation and my plan was to lay this down and then board over it. The problem is, theres a thick layer of ash (about 50mm deep in places) in between the joists. If I lay the insulation on top of it, it'll come up above the tops of the joists meaning that I'd have to squash it down quite a lot if I wanted to board over it. Also the ash gets everywhere and you need to wear overalls to go up there, which isn't much use. Any ideas on what I should do? Can I / should I get rid of the ash, and if so how? I've tried hoovering it up but even with a large rented vacuum I didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Any advice?
I had a similar problem, basically the old slate roof lay between the rafters covered in 2 inches of dust. A vacuum will not do it as you found out.An alternative is an industrial dust extracter, you can hire one for the day.Unfortunately this didn't work for me cos it didn't fit through the loft hatch and if I had it on the landing the hose wasn't long enough.I ended up doing the job by hand, a shovel and a sturdy brush.Wear a quality dust mask as it get everywhere. It's a grim job but good luck!
Thanks for the advice, you seem to have had more or less the same experience as me. I did hire an industrial vac, had quite a bit of trouble getting it up there, but even then I found it was just getting clogged up. Now, I've got a respirator, a dustpan and brush and - hopefully - enough patience! So next question: SHOULD I get rid of the ash? My intuition is to get rid of it since it makes the attic space unusable, because the slightest disturbance creates tons of dust. However, someone else has told me that the ash is there as 'deadening' or something. Could this be the case? Is the ash there for an important reason?