An attic can be a great space for extra storage in your home. It can even be renovated into a livable, usable space, or even a bedroom. But, due to the location, there are a few things you should never store in your attic:
1. Cleaning Products
Cleaning products generally need to be stored within a certain temperature range. If stored outside of this range, they become less effective or ineffective. If they contain abrasive or flammable chemicals, storing them in an attic that could have more extreme temperatures can be a dangerous mistake.
Hazards aside, storing these items in an attic also makes them difficult to get to when you need them. Instead, keep them somewhere else in the home where they will be stored at the appropriate temperature and within reach when you need them.
2. Delicate Fabrics and Materials
Even when they are finished and insulated, attics tend to be susceptible to moisture, trapped heat, and temperature fluctuations. Because of this, you never want to store delicate fabrics or materials in an attic. Holiday decorations, painted items, leather, delicate fabrics, and more can all be damaged by the moisture and heat that can be common to attic spaces.
As long as common attic renovation mistakes are avoided, a renovated attic room is generally better insulated and more comfortable than a standard attic space. If it’s been renovated into a livable, comfortable space, it’s not as likely to trap moisture or be as susceptible to temperature fluctuations. In this case, you could be fine with storing sensitive things, within reason.
3. Artwork and Art Supplies
In general, you should never store artwork in the attic. A sculpture made of an extremely durable material might be okay short-term, but canvases, paper, paint, clay, etc. are all easily affected, warped, and damaged by temperature fluctuations and moisture.
If you have artwork you want to store and protect, the attic is not the best place for it. The same is true for art supplies. Many art supplies are sensitive to heat and some can be flammable. So, it’s best to store these items in a more climate-controlled space.
4. Cardboard Boxes
When it comes to what you can store in your attic, you have to consider the item itself and also what it is stored inside. Cardboard boxes are the most common way to pack and store items together, but cardboard is also extremely sensitive to moisture. Because of this, you don’t want to put anything in cardboard boxes in your attic.
Like cardboard, books are also highly susceptible to damage from moisture. Books stored in an attic, especially one with less-than-perfect insulation or ventilation, are likely to sustain moisture damage and may even start to grow mold or mildew.
Unless your attic is well-insulated and climate-controlled, you should never store instruments in it. Most instruments are made of wood and metal, and they’re often stored in fabric-lined cases. All of this makes them susceptible to damage from moisture. Additionally, instruments are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, which can lead to warping and damage that affects the sound.
7. Electronics and Batteries
Electronics and batteries are other items that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and to moisture. They are also sensitive to heat and can be a fire hazard. Because of this, you do not want to store these items in your attic.
A potential exception to this rule would be if you have a renovated attic that is climate-controlled. But, even in this case, a closet or cupboard somewhere in the ground levels of your home would be a better place to store these items.
8. Fire Extinguishers
Unless your attic is a livable, climate-controlled space, you do not want to store fire extinguishers in it. An attic that is not climate-controlled can trap heat and become very hot. This can reduce the life span of a fire extinguisher, reduce the discharge time available, and make it less effective in putting out a fire.
In general, items that are sensitive to moisture or temperature fluctuations are some things you should never store in your attic, unless it is a livable, climate-controlled space. If you notice a lot of moisture, extreme temperature fluctuations, etc. in your attic, you should get it and your roof checked out.
These are signs you don’t have proper roof ventilation or that your roof needs to be replaced. If your attic and roof need some work or you want to explore options to renovate your attic, contact Zephyr Thomas at 717-399-4708 to start your free quote!