Your attic can be an ideal storage space, but it’s better not to use it if you haven’t done anything to secure the area. Here’s what you need to know about securing your attic and using it for storage.
1 Inspect Your Attic
The first step to using your attic is to do a thorough inspection. To do that, you need to be sure you can ramble around your attic safely. You don’t want to put a step wrong and find yourself dangling from the ceiling below. Next, you need to make sure you have plenty of light. Sure, you can carry a flashlight, but it would be best if you could see everything.
What are you looking for? You are looking for any entrances for birds and other animals. Next, you are looking for any evidence that birds or animals are getting into your attic. Finally, you are examining how much of the attic could be used for storage safely. Usually, this is a reasonably small percentage of the attic. You may be identifying where some hardwood could be secured to provide safe flooring.
2 Seal the Holes
Even if you don’t have holes letting in animals, even the smallest holes invite bugs inside. You’ll want to make sure everything is well-sealed on the inside and the outside. This may take hiring someone due to the complexity of the job.
3 Stop the Leaks
Furthermore, if you detect any water damage, you need to find the cause and fix it. Then you may need to replace that wood to prevent rot or mold.
4 Reduce Heat Penetration and Capture
Your attic temperature is as hot or hotter than the hottest summer day. This leads to melting moments if you try to store them up there. Even worse, overheated attics have been known to communicate the heat upward, damaging roof tile. And, of course, an overheated attic makes it difficult to cool the house adequately.
To prevent this, you need adequate insulation. The recommended amount is 16 to 20 inches. You can blow it into the attic, simply adding to what’s already there. An additional approach is to use radiant barriers inside or outside to reduce heat penetrating the roof. Finally, make sure your attic has adequate ventilation. An automatic fan is always a good idea for this type of space.
5 Create a Landing
If you don’t have a secure landing in your attic, you can make one with plywood. It must be securely nailed down, or you risk an accident when it shifts. In most cases, it isn’t a good idea to use your entire attic space. Most attics today were not made with the same strength that they were made in the past. In other words, most attics aren’t made to hold much weight.
6 Watch What You Store
Now that you have a secure, insulated attic with a good landing, it’s time to decide what goes in the attic and what doesn’t. Electronics, photos, musical instruments, and clothing are not good candidates for the attic. Furthermore, you don’t want to put anything too heavy. Your extra furniture would be safer in a self storage unit.
The best items to store in an attic include kitchen pots, pans, dishes, and ceramics. Sports gear and suitcases are also a good bet. You will probably store your holiday decorations up there. If the decor is very delicate and is made of natural materials, you may need to store those items in a more delicate part of your home.
Cardboard boxes are not a good idea because they attract those rodents and insects. Rigid plastic boxes are the most secure for attic storage.
When your attic has been improved, you’ll be glad you have the extra space. You’ll also notice that your heat and air conditioning bills are more reasonable. That’s a win-win situation.