What not to store in the attic?

homersgardenMay 31, 2008

We recently finished putting boards down in our "attic". This is above our garage and does not have much venilation. It does get warm up here and cold (we rarely reach 100 degrees in our area).

We are hoping to store holiday decorations up here as well as some boxes of old momentos (from our high school days...we are in our mid-30s). Is there anything we should not store up here? Advice would be appreciated.

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ericasj

My parents used to try to store some things in the "loft" which was above the full length of our house, not always successfully. It could get VERY hot, even with vents at each end of the house. The heat was more of a problem than the cold. It's like inside a car--it gets much hotter there than the outdoor temperature.

Plastic warped, adhesives gave way, paper and books got yellowed and crispy before their time. You'd put things up there and find they'd disintegrated. Christmas decorations were ok as I remember, although the electric light cords seemed to get brittle over the years. Of course, this was a long time back, and today's plastic cords might be better...

I wouldn't keep anything there that you really treasure and couldn't be replaced. It's hard enough keeping paper, photos and fabric in good shape under normal house conditions. Put them in a hot, unventilated place and I think you're asking for trouble.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 6:51PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I wouldn't put high-school mementoes up there, unless what you're really doing is delaying the day you'll throw them away, plus giving you a physical reason to toss them.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 7:30PM
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redcurls

Candles...with or without the sconces/containers used to display them.

Don't ask.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 12:26AM
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jannie

I agree, candles shoulkd not be srored in a hot attic. Also add papers and books. there's an insect known as "Silverfish" that loves hot dry attics and feeds on paper. They are gross, disgusting, they look somewhat like cockroaches. Been there, done that.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 7:52AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Actually, the silverfish does *not* look like a cockroach.
And they like dark, moist, and warm locations, w/ crevices. Like bathrooms. They will go to the attic as well, however; they can withstand considerable drying.

http://www.uos.harvard.edu/ehs/pes_silverfish.shtml

"Uniformly silver to slate or pearl gray, ½ inch in length. These silverfish are a common pest in homes, libraries and museums where they eat paper, fabrics, and get into cereals. They have mandibles that can remove the sizing of paper in books, and magazines, damaging etchings and prints. They nibble on book bindings and feed on the glue and paste in the binding. This insect prefers cool, damp situations; their preferred temperature range is 72 to 80 degrees F with 72 to 95% relative humidity. "

http://www.insectsandpests.com/

But they do eat paper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverfish

http://www.ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/factsheets/silverfi.html

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:54AM
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edselpdx

I would NOT store Xmas ornaments (or much else) in the attic. Not if you want it to be OK next year. I keep stuff in my (dry) basement. The heat will make plastic ornaments "melt" and lose color. Vintage ornaments (even glass) will lose their color and get sticky. I've kept kids' clothing in plastic bins successfully for a couple of years, maybe some wooden kids' furniture/toys. Up there currently, I have some boxes of tile that are backups for my remodeled rooms, the crib (hey, someday I'll have grandkids), some old toys that should likely be donated anyways....

Good luck, but don't keep things you value greatly in that environment.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 10:44PM
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