It's your garage, and it's one of the few places left where you can store, stack and otherwise stash overflow items from your home as well as the outdoors.
But not so fast. Before those common items take up permanent residency in your garage, be sure they don't pose a danger or at least a problem you should avoid. Some items might surprise you, which is good because this means you can take proactive steps to store them someplace else.
Never store these common but dangerous items
- Propane tanks for gas grills, which often leak and so are especially prone to igniting a fire if they catch a spark from a car. Propane tanks are so volatile they shouldn't be kept indoors anywhere or even outdoors, close to your home. Make a special perch for them outdoors, where it's well ventilated, and on a flat surface far away from other objects.
- Oil-soaked rags, which are easy to toss in a heap after you're done working on a car or a painting project. The rags may look harmless, but they can cause spontaneous combustion if heat builds in your garage and cannot escape. Hose down oily rags as soon as you're done with them and throw them promptly in the trash.
- Car batteries, whose sturdy housing belies a sensitive interior, especially if you place them on concrete. There, they're prone to collect moisture, which will cause the battery to drain and be rendered useless. If you're a diligent car owner who keeps a car battery on hand in case of an emergency, put it up high on a shelf, under a piece of wood or cardboard.
Don't store these common but problematic items
- Food, both the human kind and pet food. It's a powerful magnet for mice and other pests. And it doesn't matter if the food is in cans; the pests can still smell it. Besides, food stored outdoors is susceptible to fluctuating temperatures, which can impugn its quality and taste.
- Wood, both firewood and plywood. The former is another pest magnet and should be kept at least 20 feet away from your home. The latter can warp when it's exposed to moisture and temperature deviations. If you need a place to stash plywood for an upcoming project, it should be OK in your garage for a few days, but no more than that if you want to recognize it from what it looked like in the store.
- Photographs, the old printed kind that look so good pressed into albums but that curl and even disintegrate when exposed to humidity and moisture. Like the small children whose images they often capture, photographs need to be handled carefully. Store photographs indoors, where it's cool and dry.
- Carpeting and rugs, which seem made for garage storage, especially if they're large and unwieldy. Unfortunately, mice and insects gravitate to their warmth and snugness, and the fibers absorb moisture and odor, which means they could be unusable by the time you decide to put them to good use indoors.
Fiberglass insulation is a common household item that is OK to store in a garage, as long as it's placed on a flat surface and wrapped in plastic to avoid any contact with water. On the other hand, why would you want to store insulation when it could be, and should be, working for you in your home, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter? Call First Quality Roofing & Insulation to schedule an appointment and we'll install your installation so that you can start saving money on your energy costs – in your garage and throughout your home.