The attic opens up a whole new world of storage possibilities in most residential homes. Rather than stashing your holiday decorations and unused furniture in a guest bedroom, perhaps you should take it up to the attic. Doing so will keep these items out of your way while improving your home’s function and visual appeal. With that said, there are a few things you should know about the do’s and dont’s of attic storage.
Do: Check For Moisture
Attics can become incredibly humid when there’s sources of moisture present. And when there’s a significant amount of moisture in the air, it places any stored items here at risk for damage. Check your attic for sources of moisture to reduce the risk of rot, mold and mildew.
Some of the most common sources of moisture in the attic include:
- Dryer ducts ran to the attic
- Bathroom exhaust fans ran to the attic
- Broken air conditioner condensate pump
- Roof leaks
- Lack of ventilation
Do: Lay Down Flooring
Most modern-day attics are constructed without a floor, meaning the bottom of the attic is actually the ceiling of the home’s main living area. Avoid the temptation of storing boxes and other items here, as it doesn’t offer the same level of support as actual flooring. When enough weight is places on the ceiling, it may collapse, creating a energy-sucking hole that’s both costly and time-consuming to fix.
The good news is that you install your own attic flooring using basic materials. Just measure the distances between the joists (usually 24” from center to center) and purchase the lumber from your local home improvement store.
Don’t: Store Plastic Items
It’s not uncommon for summer attic temperatures to exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit here in Texas. This extreme heat can easily melt or otherwise damage plastic items. Some of the thicker plastic items may withstand this heat, but other items will literally melt. Just to be on the safe side, it’s recommended that you avoid storing plastic items in the attic.
Don’t: Store Belongings Uncovered
Storing uncovered crates and boxes in your attic places their contents at risk for damage. Attics are a haven for insects, some of which will nest their way down into opened boxes where they build nests and reproduce. Unless you want to open up a box of spider-filled clothes, you should avoid storing uncovered belongings in the attic.
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