Can I Store Stuff in My Attic?

Attic entry

Before we even get started, can we just talk about how attics and basements are always the creepiest parts of a house? They’re always dark, the light switch is always in a horrible spot, they smell funny and we all know ghosts and monsters exclusively exist in these rooms – ask any child, they know the truth. More seriously though, your attic might not make a great storage place for some of your more precious belongings. There are a couple of reasons for this, some you can fix and others are just the nature of the beast. Before you store your old couch and bed frame in the space above the kitchen, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Your Attic is Not That Shielded

Hard to believe, I know, as it is a part of your house, but it isn’t that well insulated from the outside. When it’s hot outside, the attic is like an oven, when it’s cold outside it may as well be a freezer. The swings in temperature make it a horrible place to store wood furniture and family photos and other things sensitive to temperature. If you have a lot of things like that, it might be smart to consider a climate controlled storage unit. That way no matter what, your items are at the same temperature and humidity, regardless of the outside temperature.

Attic Isn’t That Sturdy

Know what’s directly above the attic? It’s not a trick question, it’s your roof. Roofs have a horrible tendency to leak, because regular maintenance isn’t done on them to prevent it. Even for the sake of argument your roof is perfectly well maintained, the floor of your attic is made up of the joists for the room below. This is not a sturdy foundation upon which to stack heavy boxes. In fact, if your joists aren’t made of at least 4×8’s, I wouldn’t recommend storing much of anything heavy in that space. The risk of the weight bursting through the ceiling below is too great at that point.

Attics are Creepy

No, I don’t mean this in a, “they are haunted” way, but instead why they seem that way. Know that distinct smell of attics? Sort of musty? That’s probably mildew, potentially mold. Odds are it exists due to either an untreated leaky roof or because your bathroom vents empty into the attic instead of outside. In either case, not a great place to store your precious family mementos. The last thing you want when storing your precious family heirlooms is to put them at risk of being destroyed.

Attics are Wet

Yes, this is a subset of the previous two, but it needs to be spelled out. Attics have all manner of heating and cooling pipes running through them, not to mention actual the actual water pipes. All things told, if even one of those pipes has a tiny leak, your belongings are at risk. How often do you check your attic pipes for leaks? Probably not as often as you should, and every day you don’t check the more of your stuff is at risk.

In closing, the answer in the purest sense of the word is yes you can store stuff in your attic, but with everything that could go wrong I would stay away. Keep your stuff as safe as you can, protect it and store it some place that will show it the love and care that you do. Your attic just isn’t the place for it; stop by a self-storage facility, and let us take care of you.

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About the Author: Rob Loveless