Loft advice

Can I get some advice from those of you that have layouts in their lofts?
I have a large layout (just track & stock only atm) in my loft which
is a modern truss roof with a layer of black cloth type material between the roof spars and the tiles on the outside.
My problem is probably a common one: Temperature.
In the winter with a small electric heater and an open hatch I can keep temperatures to above 5c at worst overnight and make them habitable during the day. It's during summer I have the problems. Temperatures will reach 40c up there on the warmest days and I am concerned about long term damage to stock and buckling of track, not to say it is totally impossible to work up there at those sorts of temps.
My options seem to be
1) Roof light to let heat out. Expensive and may not work well enough to be worth the outlay. 2) Portable A/C unit but the cheaper ones need good ventilation which I obviously don't have. 3) Some sort of insulation in the roof between the trusses to keep the temps down in summer and up in winter. Again, expensive and not a DIY option as far as I know. One loft extension company warned me that the material has to be a special sort to prevent the roof sweating.
I can't see any other options but has anybody else had my problem and actually solved it? I don't mind throwing a bit of money at it for a workable solution.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary Brown wrote:

Unless you are active in opening and shutting at the right times this will have a worsening effect!

Money to buy, money money money to run.

I don't know what insulation is available over the counter at DIY shops in the UK - here in NZ we have spun pink fiberglass "Batts" which can be (cut to size and) put between the joists etc under the roof. After that you still need some lining to make the ceiling look presentable. It's a long but not too difficult job for anyone who can bang together a layout baseboard. Cut the ceiling panels downstairs and carry them up in their new size rather than trying to get full size sheets through a trapdoor! :-) Once that is complete you will need a couple of bathroom type extractor fans so that you can move the stagnant air and moisture out. Preferably they should be situated on end walls at opposite ends to get the best overall airflow.

It worked for me in -10C to +40C degree temperatures.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks for that Greg.
Only problem here might be the thickness of the walls at either end. Uk buildings have 100mm brick x 50mm cavity x 100mm breeze (cavity) block. That's a 10" tunnel to drill and then extract from.
I'm interested in the idea as it's no worse than installing a cooker hood extractor.
It's a 4th option and that's what I was looking for..
I'm kinda hoping Steve Jones (www.electricnose.co.uk) reads this as he has almost exactly the same setup as me and I wondered what he had come up with...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm kinda hoping Steve Jones (www.electricnose.co.uk) reads this as he has almost exactly the same setup as me and I wondered what he had come up with...
Gary, Looking at one of his first OMWB pictures, he has the same loft as myself and my father (well, more like his for the rake and length!!) He does nopt appear to have done anything as you can still see the 3 inch thick joists? and the black lining on the inside of the tiles.
I am very impressed with what he has done base board wise, and look forward to the day he starts the scenery - although I do worry about all this american stock he seems to run these days?
I'm looking at some point to install an old bathroom extrator fan over the airbrick. I'm not sure yet if this is as good an idea as it sounds! The floor is all done with the overlaping chip boards from Wickes (which makes a change as when I moved into my house - you would have thought I had taken a bed to my local B&Q for the amount of time I spent there!)
I have also done simular with beams betweeen the V's and the cross members to boards just lay on top to give a little bit of movement should there be any settling or expansion from heat etc...
Next project may be to install in a railway coach!
--
Andy Sollis
CVMRD
http://www.cvmrd.freeserve.co.uk - Home of the Churnet Valley Model Railway
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 10 May 2005 23:14:43 +0100, "Andy Sollis- Churnet Valley

Andy, I agree that Steve's layout is impressive and the man can clearly wield a jigsaw!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 10 May 2005 21:17:21 +0100, Gary Brown

I very much doubt Steve will read this but I can answer for him as I've visited the Jones loft on a number of occasions. The answer is absolutely nothing.
My setup is exactly the same. I've had no problems with stock etc. I don't think that the temperatures we are talking about will have any affect on modern materials. Track is much easier to lay when it's hot as that way you can reduce the expansion gaps to nearly nothing. Lay track in the winter and you need to allow large expansion gaps. I don't find the winter a problem as the lack of wind chill means it never gets that cold. Summer is a different matter. On the hottest days I just give it a miss! My advice would be simple, no nothing and spend the money you save on more locos.
Nigel
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 10 May 2005 23:43:14 +0100, Nigel Emery <> wrote:

Nigel,
Thanks for giving me a fifth option!
I've been impressed with Steve's layout and website for a number of months now and if nothing works for him then clearly nothing is a good option!
I already have one section of flexi track that now has an S-bend in it due to expansion, this was all laid at Xmas and I clearly didn't leave enough expansion space. This has expanded having been laid at 5c and even now at only 15-20c is permanently bowed in and out.
Assuming I am going to relay large areas of my layout (which I am!) I assume that laying at 20c or so would mean very little expansion gaps would be required.
Can anybody suggest a guide figure for different temperatures?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gary Brown wrote:

The extractor fans could go through the roof right beside the ends - the problem would be that all the ones I've seen are designed to mount vertically - the rain would come in at 45degrees - perhaps you don't get much rain?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote: ...

...
Might I suggest using ducting (available as a flexible tube) so that air exctraction and infusion is done at the eaves?
--
Chris White
http://www.bentleymrg.org.uk /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If there is a gas appliance on any of the floors below you risk sucking carbon monoxide out of the flue and into the loft with potentially lethal results.
(kim)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kim wrote:

The extractor fan should suck from inside and blow to the outside! Oue fans in NZ have shutters to stop airflow when they are off.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If there is a gas appliance on any of the floors below you risk sucking carbon monoxide out of the flue and into the loft with potentially lethal results.
(kim)
But as my hot water boiler is in my kitchen, which as per 99% of UK houses (Someone here will be an exception I know!) surly I stand this risk in the bedroom upstairs? But then- I always thought Carbon Monoxide sat near the floor? (Or is that Dioxide?)
--
Andy Sollis
CVMRD
http://www.cvmrd.freeserve.co.uk - Home of the Churnet Valley Model Railway
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy Sollis- Churnet Valley model Railway Dept. wrote:

sucking
lethal
houses
in the

the
There are rules about how far away the boiler flue "terminal" can be from an opening window.
I think Kim's point is that sucking air in by mechanical means is a much greater risk than what might waft in through an open window.
Andrew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote

Where I live the heating system is behind a door in the kitchen with a flue venting directly to the roof. There are vents top and bottom of the door. There is also a low level vent in the outside wall which acts as an air feed and a high level vent to prevent a build-up of carbon monoxide. I've been told I'm not allowed to have an extractor fan in the kitchen (which gets very hot and smelly) or an extractor hood over the cooker. Even these precautions assume the kitchen door is kept closed at all times which is highly impracticable. With the kitchen door open the extractor fan in the bathroom upstairs can theoretically suck carbon monoxide back down the flue, out of the kitchen and into the upstairs rooms. One gas fitter even told me I should have the suction measured to make sure it wasn't interfering with normal operation of the heating system.
(kim)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Kim, I certainly couldn't fault those fitters for being safety conscious, but if I lived somewhere that needed that level of precaution, I'd be very concerned.
The dangers are very real. We've got an open log-effect gas fire in the lounge, and of course we don't want bloody great venting floor grilles sticking up through the carpet. On a very cold night last winter, we left the fire on and we forgot to open one of the windows for ventilation. And yes, we both (wife and me) fell asleep on the sofa. And when we awoke, our pet cage birds were all dead. Another hour...
I strongly suggest you get a few battery operated carbon monoxide detectors. The Gas Company will supply them. Put one in each room.
Cheers, Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In the City of Toronto, it is compulsory to have one or more carbon monoxide detectors in any housing unit where natural gas, propane, oil or wood is burned as fuel. Only all-electric homes are exempt.
In rural homes where wood is used as the heating fuel, the furnace is often in a separate out-building.
--
Martin S.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kim wrote:

UK
risk
near
be
a flue

door.
air feed

been
gets
is
the
the flue,

told me

with
Kim,
Do you have a forced warm air system? At any rate, it sounds like your boiler is not "room sealed". I think that's why you have to be very careful not to create a negative pressure in the kitchen by using an extractor as the fumes will be sucked into the kitchen rather than going up the flue. There are similar problems with open gas fires in any room.
A great many modern heating boilers (I would hope the majority) are balanced flue and do not have these restrictions. Mostly what is required is for the flue to be a certain distance from opening windows.
Andrew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@sheerstock.fsnet.co.uk wrote:

Our Canadian house built in 1997 has a "high-efficiency" gas warm-air furnace that draws air through a pipe directly from outside, and a fan- forced exhaust vent that goes back out in parallel. Both conduits are 2 1/2 in. ABS plastic pipe, and the exhaust pipe is cool enough to put your hand on. The gas-fired water heater operates in the same manner. There is little to no danger of combustion fumes escaping into the house, which is otherwise effectively sealed against cold air entry.
--
Martin S.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Strongly suggest you post the same question to uk.d-i-y, where the subjects of lofts, temperatures, conversions etc. often arise. The experts in there will give good advice.
--
Graeme

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you put a roof light in you may get big trouble from your council. When I enquired they viewed this as making the loft habitable which means strengthened joists, fixed stairs and a fire escape from the loft plus big problems if you come to sell. I used 2 inch fire retardent polysterene but I had to build up the rafters(?) to maintain a 2 inch air gap. The more insulation the better. I then put up plasterboard and got a plasterer in but that isn't necessary. I am still building my layout so haven't had to endure a very hot summer or very cold winter. I see the summers as more of a problem than the winter. Like you as a last resort I was considering an a/c but to be honest, the number of days in the UK that I wont be able to get into the loft due to excess heat I can count on the fingers of two hands. I'll just go down the pub on those days.
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.