An unfinished basement may seem like the perfect storage solution for extra boxes and other odds and ends. But before you start stacking, it’s important to consider the risks that come with storing certain items in a such cool, damp area. Take a look at our list of common items that you should not store in your basement.
Rugs & Carpet
- Rugs and carpet are an inviting home for insects and rodents. Their organic materials are also a great food source for mold. If not removed, these items can easily be ruined.
Books, Important Documents, & Photos
- Keeping any type of books, photos, or important paper documents in the basement is a huge risk. They can easily become damaged by insects, water, or moisture in the air. Mold also loves to feed on these types of organic materials. These items should be removed or only stored in airtight containers.
- Electronics do not do well in damp environments with fluctuating temperatures. Components can become damaged or corroded causing problems that may not be fixable.
Linens, Clothing, and Toys
- Linens and clothing are prone to moth infestations. With any excess moisture these materials are also the perfect home for mold growth. These types of items do better when sealed carefully and stored in temperature-controlled rooms.
- Stuffed animals and plushy toys are an invitation for dust mites, other insects, and mice. These items should only be stored in the basement if they are sealed in an airtight container.
Wood, Furniture, & Fabric
- Mold loves to feed on organic materials like fabric and wood. Firewood, wood furniture, and upholstery do not hold up well when moisture is present. These home items should be kept in a dry place.
Food & Plants
- Non-perishables like canned goods will do just fine in the basement. Perishables, on the other hand, should never be left in a damp place. They easily become food source for mold and insects.
- Leave plants upstairs or in other places in the home. Their leaves and soil provide a perfect source of food for mold.
- Flammable materials like paint, kerosene, or propane should never be left near a heat source in the basement like a water heater, dryer, or furnace. Consider keeping these types of items in a detached shed.
Having extra storage space in a basement is nice, but there are risks involved. Knowing how items will react in the cold, damp environment is an important thing to consider before you start organizing those boxes.
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