When I do a home inspection (Prescott, Prescott Valley, or Scottsdale and Phoenix areas – it doesn’t matter where the garage is located), I often see items stored in the garage that shouldn’t be there. While this information is NOT part of the home inspection report, I figured I would take time now to help educate home owners on storage tips for this area.
Rarely used objects often end up in the attic, basement or garage. But storing your stuff where it seems most convenient isn’t always the best, or safest, idea. Some items are too fragile for these environments, while others could even become dangerous in unregulated conditions.
Take a look at these home storage tips to keep your house and possessions protected.
What to Keep Out of the Garage
For the most part, objects like garden tools or car supplies do fine in the garage. However, fluctuating temperatures make the space off limits for anything that’s too delicate, combustible or that may attract pests.
Some common household items that don’t hold well:
- Photographs — Moisture, heat and pollutants from your car can cause photos to fade and crinkle over time.
- Flammables — Sparking engines should be kept far away from potentially leaky propane tanks. Instead of putting them in an enclosed space, always store tanks outside on a flat surface.
- Perishables — Insects and rodents can make a meal out of almost anything. This includes fabrics, paper and even firewood. Unless you have an outdoor fridge, bring any perishables, even canned food items, indoors.
Basement and Attic Hazards
Attics and basements are bonus storage spaces in many homes, but each comes with some risk from the elements.
In the basement, homeowners need to protect against excess moisture, mold and flooding. Store anything that’s not weatherproof off the ground in a sturdy container.
Attics tend to experience extreme temperature spikes, so anything sensitive that may warp or melt shouldn’t be placed here. Holiday decor, clothing and luggage typically do okay, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.
As a general rule, anything that’s sentimental or financially valuable should be kept safely in the temperature-controlled parts of your home.