The Attic is a Jungle Gym

It all started here. I needed to go into the attic so I could see the source of my mold problem, then tell the builder what needed to be fixed. No big deal, right? As a child, I went into the attic frequently where we stored seasonal items. Going into the attic with dad was fun! His guidance was to walk on the wood joists (the 2x4s) rather than the fiberglass insulation. His reason: fiberglass is itchy and bad on the skin.

When I went into the attic in my first house, the insulation was very different. Instead of fiberglass blankets, the insulation was a couple of feet of pulverized newspaper. So there was no issue about walking on the insulation, right?

Wrong. I still needed to walk only on the joists. The ceiling is nothing more than drywall tacked to the joists. Oops.

So yes – you guessed it – I fell through. And I had very ugly bruises for a few weeks as a result. Fortunately (in a way), I landed on a joist and the top of the closet door below instead of falling to the floor. So it could have been worse – I could have broken a leg. The insulation that fell through got all over my closet, so I had to wash every single item of clothes I own.

Over-engineer that he is, my brother wanted to protect me from future damage to my ceiling – and my body. He built a wooden platform for me to stand on if ever I had cause to go into my attic again. The board he selected was one that is interlocking, but he only needed one board. Since the entrance to my attic was small, he had it cut in half lengthwise. He then measured and cut out space for the supports in the attic. He could then use the interlocking feature to hold the two pieces of board together. I never would have thought of that – but then, I wouldn’t have bothered making myself a platform, either. I don’t think I ever went into that attic again.

I have, however, gone into the attic of my new house. I am happy to report my painful lesson from the first house lasted. I now wander easily around my new attic, treating it like a jungle gym and acting like a gymnast, if not a monkey. Score one lesson solidly learned!

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