Thu, 07 Mar 2019
Storage space in most homes is usually at a premium, so when it comes to storing things that aren’t needed every day, the garage seems like the perfect place to hide them away. Think twice about chucking every item you don’t have space for in there though, precious possessions may be damaged when stored in the garage, while other items could even pose a risk to your home or family. Here are our suggestions.
If you’ve just bought up a stack of cheap canned food or you’re running out of pantry space, don’t risk storing those cans in the garage. The natural conditions of a lot of garages make them an unsuitable place for storing food. Canned foods should ideally be stored in a cool, dry location. Damp garages could cause cans to rust, while a hot garage will increase the risk of spoiling the food.
The Garage does seem like a really convenient spot to stack your woodpile. After all, who wants to step outside on a cold winter’s evening to carry wood? Unfortunately, it’s not advisable due to pests that take a ride in with your trailer load of wood. Insects can infiltrate your garage and eventually migrate into your home. The best bet is to stack the wood on an elevated rack away from the house, covered with something like a tarp to keep it dry.
During cold weather, paint stored for an extended time can tend to separate or gel. Even unopened cans are at risk of spoiling in extreme temperatures. If you’re in a temperate zone, the risk isn’t so bad but make sure the lids are tapped on very tightly. The best bet is to not store paints for long periods.
This one is a big no-no. Gas tanks are not designed for storage in enclosed areas, no matter if it’s your camp stove cartridges or the spare BBQ cylinder. If the valve leaks, gas can seep into the garage creating both an asphyxiation risk and a fire hazard. A mere spark or a pilot light could ignite the gas, with terrible consequences.
CLOTHING & BEDDING
Heat, humidity and vermin are all often found in the garage and they can all badly affect fabrics. Whether it’s your off-season wardrobe, treasured baby clothes or your wedding dress, the garments can be at risk of mould, mildew and mice when stored in your garage. This also goes for spare mattresses and pillows - even if they are wrapped, tiny insects and car fumes can infiltrate. If you want to protect it, best store it somewhere else.
PHOTOS & PAPER PRODUCTS
The best way to ensure that treasured photos will remain intact is to store them in a cool, dry, dark place such as the back of a wardrobe or under the bed. Putting them in the garage is a recipe for disaster, you can be left with a mess of faded and stuck together pics. Paper products are renowned for attracting mice, termites and silverfish so keep those old tax documents and Dad’s comic collection out of the garage space too.
This one is a bit different so we haven’t counted it as one of the six. If you’re storing petrol or other fuel, the garage might be the only place you can keep it. However, make sure it is only EVER stored in approved containers and keep quantities to a minimum. Store the containers on a piece of plywood or similar, not directly on the concrete floor. Make sure it is out of direct sunlight and well out of reach of children.
Need to tidy up all your garage clutter? Read our 3 Steps to an Organised Garage here.