Do you have solar inverters or other equipment that needs regular maintenance in the loft? Then make sure you have an adequate access platform in place. Read on to find out more about loft flooring for maintenance & repairs.
Loft Flooring for maintenance & repairs
More and more developers are adding renewable energy sources such as solar panels (or photovoltaics/PV) to their new builds, with the solar inverter being placed in the loft. However, the necessary access platform in the loft for maintenance and repairs is often either not adequate or not provided at all.
And the same applies to any other equipment you might have in your loft, like water tanks, cisterns or gas boilers. Let’s have a look at what that means for you!
Why do you need safe access to your loft?
Whatever equipment you do have in your loft, repairs and maintenance are needed more often than you think. For example, according to Which? magazine, nearly a quarter (23%) of solar panel owners have had a problem with their system, and problems with the inverter are the most common (40%).
And without safe access to your loft and your solar inverter or gas boiler, a tradesman can refuse to enter the loft on the grounds of health and safety. We have experienced this first-hand and have installed access platforms for customers after they have had a gas or solar technician visit and refuse to enter the loft.
What are the requirements?
There is a requirement for developers to include this mandatory access platform: The NHBC Technical Standards require that member developers (such as Barratt, Cala, Miller and others) provide a minimum 1sqm platform in front of any permanent equipment in the loft. In addition to that, they need to provide a fixed walkway to access the platform from the loft hatch.*
Here is the relevant excerpt from the NHBC Standards 2023, Section 7.2.12:
But the existence of this requirement does not seem to prevent NHBC from signing off new-build homes without adequate access.
Our Tip: Snagging
If you are still within your snagging period (usually 2 years), then this is something you should insist your builder rectifies. You can point them in the direction of either ourselves or LoftZone for details on fitting an access platform compliant with all regulations.
However, if your snagging period has already passed, you may need to arrange this yourself. In that case, we’d be delighted to help.