Typically, most people choose spring as the best time for clearing out their loft. But increasingly, more people are choosing summer to have a good clear-out, too. We can see why – there’s something about the bright sunshine that leaves people more energised for the bigger household jobs! Of course, a decent quality loft ladder should be the very top of your list before you start to make the ascent. Once you’ve got that sorted, here are our other top tips for making sure that attic’s clear this summer.
Make sure you have proper PPE
Most people think that Personal Protective Equipment is just for the professionals (if you’ll pardon all the alliteration). It’s not! It’s designed to keep you safe, so it’s worth making sure you’re appropriately equipped before you scale that loft ladder. When you’re undertaking a task like loft clearance, you’ll ideally want to have three pieces of PPE:
- FFP3 Grade dust mask
- A hardy pair of gloves
- Steel-toed boots
- A good torch
If you’re thinking this sounds like overkill, just remember that old saying: it’s better to be safe than sorry! Lofts by their very nature can often contain towering stacks of boxes and similarly precarious items, so you’ll be thankful for the extra protection if one of those should fall.
And we really can’t overstate the importance of the dust mask. Unless you’re in the habit of regularly hoovering up there, you’ll be breathing in significantly more dust than you would anywhere else in the house. Trust us – it’s always good to have the extra breathing room (sorry).
Beware of anything dead (or not!)
It’s another often-underestimated element of attics and lofts. There’s no avoiding the fact that animals like to nest up there. Sometimes, that’s where they stay! There are the obvious culprits of birds or bats in the rafters, but you’ve also got to watch out for mice, wasps and bees. Dead animals are reasonably easy to dispose of, but we’d stress that it’s really important to know what you’re doing as you do so. You can get seriously ill if you mishandle a dead animal, so it might even be worth getting a professional in to help.
This goes double for animals that are still active. Birds and bats can be dealt with, but if you find something like a wasp or bee’s nest, definitely leave well enough alone. They’re extremely territorial, and it can be tricky enough to safely descend even the best made loft ladders (like our Lyte Timber Easiloft) without being pursued by angry insects!
Be tough with what you find
Once you’ve ascertained the loft to be clear of animals or insects to deal with, you’ll need to make some tough decisions with what you find up there. We all collect stuff. Seasonal decorations, broken pieces of machinery or equipment we’re always meaning to get fixed, and stacks and stacks of books we’re never going to read. If you’re serious about having a clear out, you might well find yourself faced with the prospect of getting rid of something you’d really rather not.
But think carefully about it – are you ever going to really get that VHS player fixed? How much would it go for online, anyway? Is it really worth the hassle of keeping it around? If not, get rid of it. The same for those old clothes. Are you really ever going to wear them again? Do they even fit you anymore? If not, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go straight in the bin – the local charity shop might appreciate them!
Don’t do the task alone if you can help it
If you’ve been planning it for a little while, it’s worth roping in your partner, or even a friend. It can make the job slightly safer, as well as getting it done in half the time. Filled and heavy boxes can be really hard to safely bring down a loft ladder on your own, even a stable one like our Abru Seal Deluxe Timber Complete Access Kit, It’s much easier to be able to hand it down to someone than take it down yourself!
Of course, how best to do the job is ultimately up to you. One thing that’s more or less non-negotiable, though, is having safe and sturdy access equipment. For something that’s taking your full weight, you need to be able to trust it completely! That’s exactly where we come in here at Browns Ladders. We’ve got a huge range of loft ladders and other access equipment guaranteed to make the job easier. You can shop ladders online right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 615517. We’re here to help!