A home’s attic can be a great place to keep many unwanted or barely used items out of sight.
Most properties with an accessible loft typically contain boxes filled with vacation decorations, camping gear, family photos, or even a nostalgic game console or treasured old toy.
If you don’t have a garage, an attic is generally considered the most practical place to keep things safe and keep the downstairs area from getting too cluttered.
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However, one cleaning expert has warned that keeping things in the attic can actually seriously damage them.
Joyce French of HomeHow said some items could be destroyed forever and could even pose a risk to your safety.
From Christmas decorations to wine bottles and cardboard boxes to important documents – here are the seven things you should never keep in the attic.
Food and wine
There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t keep food or drink in the attic.
Some attic spaces can get so hot during the summer months that the canned goods will start to cook inside the box – so if you plan on storing baked beans, look for another place to store them.
Hot temperatures can also spoil expensive wines, while mice and rats thrive in a damp attic environment and can also contaminate and chew food.
Instead, Joyce says perishables and wine bottles should be stored in a cool, dry place so they remain safe for consumption even after a long period of storage.
Many of us keep important documents, such as birth certificates and passports, in one place.
But the loft is one of the worst places to keep them, as they don’t hold up well to temperature fluctuations.
Your important documents will start to fade, become damp, dusty or sticky over time.
Invest in a storage drawer unit for the documents you need and bring them downstairs.
Got an old cassette player or Gameboy gathering dust in the attic?
Everyone has outdated electronics that they just can’t put down. However, old electronics can still overheat in the attic.
Circuits can explode and ruin your item forever – so it’s best to keep beloved electronics in a cooler environment down below, take them to a recycling center or sell them online.
If you’re storing things in cardboard boxes in your attic, it might be time to reconsider.
Pests like mice and insects are attracted to cardboard and glue, feed on it and make it their breeding ground.
Cardboard boxes also tend to get damp and disintegrate over time, which can damage the valuables inside.
As our Christmas decorations fall and the New Year begins, it’s time to put away your holiday decorations.
But next year’s holiday season could be a lot less cheerful if you keep the decorations in the loft.
Delicate fabrics, painted items and special plastic ornaments can warp under the effect of heat and are susceptible to damage in a humid environment, such as the attic.
Instead, store holiday decorations in a large plastic box in a cool environment, such as the garage.
Maybe you’ve inherited some old wooden furniture and it’s not quite your style, but you don’t want to throw it away.
It may be tempting to store it in the attic, but you shouldn’t because the wood can warp in humidity, crack in heat, and develop mold in humid conditions.
Wood also tends to attract woodworms, which can chew through wooden furniture.
After redoing the house, you may have leftover paint, but oil-based paints can heat up to dangerous and combustible levels if stored in a hot roof.
They are highly flammable, so should be kept in a temperature-controlled place, such as a spare cabinet.
Dramatic temperature swings can also break down latex paint, rendering it unusable.
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