Hazards may be lurking in your garage. Garages are a space that often becomes storage for all kinds of odds and ends. It’s easy to forget that garages have very little climate control when it comes to heat and humidity and that can affect how things are stored. You may be putting yourself at risk for mold, mildew, pests, or other health and safety issues. So when you’re ready to clean out the garage, take a look at some of these items that you should avoid storing.
Propane Tanks & Flammable Materials
- Propane tanks can leak and ignite causing a scary situation. They should be stored out of the garage in a well-ventilated area away from sparks.
- Be cautious with flammable and hazardous materials. Store gasoline in approved containers off floors and away from children or possible sparks. Properly dispose of hazardous materials you no longer need.
- Oil-soaked rags that are stuffed away are at risk for spontaneous combustion and should never be stored in the garage. Take proper care to manage these types of rags to avoid the risk of fire.
Electronics & Fragile Items
- Electronics do not do well under extreme temperatures and humidity. Moisture in the air and temperature fluctuation can cause computers, TVs, and other electronics to short out.
Pictures & Documents
- The last thing you want are precious memories destroyed. Photos exposed to extreme temperatures and moisture may stick together or even start to grow mold. Store these items indoors to avoid water damage.
- Moisture can do some serious damage to paper. Do not store any important documents in a garage. Water damage can quickly damage papers that are difficult to replace. Keep them safely indoors, preferably in a fireproof box.
Clothing & Bedding
- Clothes, bedding, and sleeping bags can quickly become breeding grounds for mold or little rodents and pests looking for a new home. Fabric is easily affected by temperature and humidity. Fabric items should be stored inside the home.
- Storing food for your family or pets in the garage puts you at risk for uninvited rodents, pests, and insects. Food stored in uncontrolled climates can also decrease in overall shelf life and quality.
- Oxidation of wine can occur with fluctuating and extreme temperatures. This can alter the taste, composition, and color making it undrinkable.
Rugs & Carpet
- Rugs and carpet are perfect little spots for pests like insects or mice to burrow. Fibers in these flooring materials can also be very vulnerable to moisture in the air leading to possible mold or other types of water damage.
- Temperatures in a garage can fluctuate drastically and that is not good news for leftover paint. Extreme heat and cold can alter a paints formula. Additionally, cement floors cause rust stains on paint cans.
No matter how convenient it is, there are simply some items that should not be stored in a garage. There can be a lot of risks due to the fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Taking the time to do some cleaning and removal will be the best way to protect your home and your belongings.
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