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  • Writer's pictureINSPECTION PROS

Things You Should Never Store in the Attic.

The attic, a mysterious and often underutilized space in our homes, serves various purposes, from storage to insulation. Many homeowners view it as a convenient storage area for items they don't use frequently or want to keep out of sight.

However, not everything is suitable for attic storage. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the things you should never store in the attic and the reasons behind these recommendations. By understanding what to avoid, you can ensure the safety of your belongings, prolong their lifespan, and maintain the structural integrity of your home.

Temperature Extremes

One of the most critical items you should never store in the attic is important documents. This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, wills, property deeds, and financial records. Attics are subject to extreme temperature fluctuations and can be prone to leaks or pests. Storing essential documents in the attic increases the risk of damage or loss.

1. Wooden Furniture

Wood is highly sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. Extremes in temperature can cause wood to expand and contract, leading to warping, cracking, and splitting. Storing wooden furniture in the attic can result in irreparable damage.

2. Electronics

Electronic devices are sensitive to temperature extremes. High temperatures can cause circuitry to overheat and damage components, while cold temperatures can lead to condensation inside devices, which can short-circuit them.

3. Artwork and Photographs

Artwork, photographs, and other paper-based items are also vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Heat can cause paper to become brittle and discolored, and moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth.

4. Musical Instruments

Musical instruments, especially those made of wood, are highly susceptible to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Instruments can go out of tune, develop cracks, and lose their tonal quality if stored in the attic.


Attics often have poor ventilation, leading to high humidity levels. High humidity can be detrimental to various items:

1. Clothing and Textiles

Clothing, linens, and other textiles stored in a humid attic can develop mold and mildew, leading to permanent stains and odors.

2. Paper Documents

Important documents, such as birth certificates, passports, and legal papers, should never be stored in a humid attic. Humidity can cause these documents to become brittle, discolored, and illegible.

3. Leather Goods

Leather items, such as shoes, bags, and furniture, are highly susceptible to mold growth and deterioration in high humidity environments.

Pests and Rodents

Attics are often prime breeding grounds for pests and rodents due to their low traffic and abundance of hiding spots. Storing certain items in the attic can attract unwanted visitors:

1. Food and Pantry Items

Never store food or pantry items in the attic, as they can attract rodents and insects. These pests can contaminate your food and cause damage to the attic's structure by chewing through insulation and wiring.

2. Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are easily chewed through by rodents, making them poor choices for attic storage. Instead, use plastic or metal containers with tightly sealed lids to protect your belongings.

Valuables and Irreplaceable Items

While the attic may seem like a hidden and secure place to store valuable or irreplaceable items, it can actually be risky:

1. Jewelry and Valuables

Attics are vulnerable to break-ins, and storing valuable jewelry or other precious items there can make them easy targets for thieves.

2. Irreplaceable Heirlooms

Family heirlooms, antiques, and sentimental items should be stored in a more secure location. Attics are not suitable for preserving the history and memories associated with these possessions.

Hazardous Materials

Storing hazardous materials in the attic is not only dangerous but also illegal in many cases:

1. Flammable Liquids

Storing flammable liquids like gasoline, propane, or paint thinner in the attic poses a significant fire hazard. These substances should be stored in approved containers in well-ventilated areas.

2. Pesticides and Chemicals

Chemical pesticides and herbicides should be kept in a secure location away from living spaces, as they can release harmful fumes or leak, posing health risks.

Heavy Items

Attic floors are not designed to support heavy loads, and overloading them can lead to structural damage:

1. Furniture and Appliances

Large, heavy pieces of furniture or appliances should not be stored in the attic, as their weight can weaken the attic's flooring and compromise its structural integrity.

2. Boxes of Heavy Items

Even boxes filled with heavy items, such as books or tools, can strain attic floors. Distribute heavy items throughout your home or store them in a basement or on the ground floor.

Electronics and Appliances with Refrigerants

Appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners contain refrigerants that can leak and pose environmental risks. Storing these items in the attic can lead to costly refrigerant leaks and potential environmental damage.


Your attic can be a useful storage space if used wisely, but not everything belongs there. Understanding what should never be stored in the attic is essential to preserve the integrity of your belongings and your home. Temperature extremes, humidity, pests, the risk of theft, hazardous materials, heavy items, and appliances with refrigerants are all factors that should influence your attic storage decisions. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure the safety, longevity, and condition of your possessions while maintaining the structural soundness of your home.
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