Can I Store Stuff in My Attic?

attic with wooden flooring

Can we talk about how attics are always the creepiest parts of a house before we even start? They’re always dark, and the light switch is always in a horrible spot. Plus, we all know ghosts and monsters exclusively exist in these rooms. More seriously, your attic might not be the ideal storage spot for your precious belongings. There are a couple of reasons for this; some you can fix, and others are just the nature of the beast. Before asking yourself, “Can I store stuff in my attic?” There are a few things you should consider for attic storage.

Your Attic Is Unshielded From the Elements

The first thing to consider when you want to store your stuff in an attic is how unshielded it is. Hard to believe, we 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. Temperature swings make an attic a horrible place to store furniture, photos, and more. If you’re storing items sensitive to temperature, consider Air-Conditioned storage. That way, your items stay unaffected by the outside weather conditions.

Ventilation Concerns in the Attic

Attics can be drafty, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to proper ventilation. Warm air rises, and in homes, it often carries moisture with it. If your attic isn’t adequately ventilated, this moisture can get trapped, leading to condensation. This might not sound like a big deal, but it is. Condensation can lead to wood rot, mold, and mildew – all things you don’t want near your stored items. Proper ventilation doesn’t just regulate temperature; it ensures a continuous air flow, helping prevent excess moisture and the problems that come with it.

The Ever-Present Dust and Allergens

Without regular cleaning, dust accumulates, and given that attics aren’t frequently accessed, it becomes a sanctuary for dust mites. But that’s not all; if your attic isn’t sealed correctly, pollen and other airborne allergens can make their way in, settling on your stored items. Over time, the concentration of these allergens increases. So, every trip to the attic might expose you to a cloud of irritants, making it a sneeze-fest. The dust accumulation might also damage some sensitive items, so be sure to consider this factor!

Be Careful What You Store in an Attic

wooden ladder to attic

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 if your roof is well-maintained, an attic floor is just joists for the room below. This is not a sturdy foundation upon which to stack heavy boxes. If your joists are anything less than 4×8’s, we wouldn’t recommend storing much of anything heavy in that space.

Why don’t we recommend you store heavy stuff in your attic? Because attics have weak spots. Hearing about someone falling through their attic floor is not the most uncommon occurrence in the world. What happens when you want to get out those holiday decorations? It’s hazardous not only for your furniture but for you.

Breeding Grounds for Mildew and Mold

Attics have all manner of heating, cooling, and water pipes running through them. 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? Not as often as you should, and every day you don’t check, the more of your stuff is at risk.

This brings us to our next point: the moisture in attics causes unwanted effects. Know that distinct smell of attics? Sort of musty? That’s probably mildew and potentially mold. Odds are it exists due to something leaking or because your bathroom vents empty into the attic instead of outside. In either case, there are better places to store your precious mementos. The last thing you want is photos of your family getting warped and faded over the years. Instead, we suggest properly storing your essential documents and photos in a temperature controlled unit.

Issues with Accessibility

Navigating attics isn’t just about climbing a ladder or a set of stairs. It’s the entire process that can become a day’s chore. The entrance might be tucked away in a closet or a hallway, requiring you to move items to access the attic door. Factor in the lack of proper lighting, and you’ve got yourself an obstacle course. Retrieving a single box can become an event, especially if you’ve packed things tightly.

Dealing with Limited Space

Attics may seem large at first glance, where you can store all your seasonal gear, old mementos, and those things you “might need someday.” But looks can be deceiving. Those slanted ceilings, for one, can make stacking boxes a real challenge. Unlike a storage unit or basement where you have uniform space, attics are filled with irregular nooks and crannies. Those beams and rafters can further reduce your storage footprint. Moreover, the closer you get to the edges of the attic, the less headspace you have. This means you must be strategic with how you store things, which can become a real-life game of Tetris. Before you relocate all your stuff to the attic, remember that you might have much less attic storage space than you initially anticipated.

Can I Store My Stuff in an Attic?

various items in an attic

In summary, while the attic might be a potential storage spot, it has challenges. Whether it’s the fluctuating temperatures or weight considerations, you have some things to consider if you want your belongings up there. If this seems too difficult, consider Hide-Away as your storage solution. We offer a range of storage options tailored to your requirements. Contact us today to reserve or if you have any questions about self storage!