7 Things You Shouldn’t Store in Your Garage

Your garage is a different zone. It’s not like your main house—temperature controlled, enclosed with weather stripping, secured doors and sealed windows, and insulation.  Garages can be damp, prone to pests, frigid in the winter and sweltering in the summer.  As a result, certain items should never be stored in your garage.

1. Paint

How many of us are guilty of stashing away paint cans in our garages?  Although you might think otherwise, the garage is no place for paint.  Why?  Your paint’s formula is delicately manufactured, designed for specific temperatures and uses.

Extreme temperatures can destroy paint.  Every paint can contains instructions that include recommended storage temperatures.  If the cans have been sitting in your garage through cold winters as well as hot summers, it’s time to throw them away.  Considering how expensive paint is these days, it’s a much better idea to store it in your basement.

2. Oily Rags

Oily rags look harmless enough, but once they’re stored in a garage you could be asking for some serious trouble.  Oil-soaked rags are the cause behind spontaneous combustion, which occurs when these oil-covered rags are stored in hot and stuffy areas.  Oily rags act as a catalyst for deadly fires.

There are containers specifically designed to store oily rags, which are a  much better place to keep them rather than your heat-prone garage.  The container should be small, airtight, and made from non-combustible material like metal.  You will also need to cover the rags with a solution of water and a detergent to break down the oil.  The bottom line is that oily rags are hazardous and should be stored and disposed of responsibly.

3. Pet Food

Storing pet food in your garage is asking for trouble.  The potent smell of dog and cat food draws plenty of different species of insects.  The last thing you want to do is to feed your pet bug-ridden food.  If you absolutely have to keep pet food in your garage, never leave it in its original packaging which bugs can gnaw their way through.  Keep pet food in airtight containers with tight seals to keep critters out.

4. Firewood

5. Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags keep you comfortable, safe, and warm.  Mice and other critters realize this as well and can burrow in them, leaving droppings as they nest.  The last thing you’d want is to grab your sleeping bag for a camping trip, and crawl inside only to find that mice or bugs have made it their home!  Your best bet is to keep your sleeping bags safely tucked away in your home, away from bugs and critters.

6. Books

A lot of us rely on the garage to store things we don’t need in the main house, books being some of the bulkier, heavier items that seem like great ideas to stash away.  But storing books in a wet, damp, and dark garage can be a death sentence.  Insects like silverfish thrive in these environments and will feed off any starchy substance, like the binding glue that holds your books together.

7. Propane Tanks

Maybe you’re one of those homeowners who is lucky enough to store a grill in their spacious garage (when it’s not in use, of course).  It makes sense to keep the propane tank next to it, right?  Well, that’s not such a good idea after all.  Much like oily rags, propane tanks need to be stored properly—otherwise, a fire could easily ignite and damage your garage, main house, or even hurt someone.  Even just starting up your car could be enough to start a fire if the propane tank is leaking—it just takes one little spark.

Keep your propane tanks outside, no matter how tempting it is to store them in your garage.  You’ll want to keep the tanks in a place that’s not subject to high temperatures and in an area that’s not enclosed.

Mindful Garage Storage

Being mindful of what to store inside of your garage can help prevent damaging, sometimes deadly, accidents from occurring.  You’ll protect certain sensitive items by opting to store them in the basement or elsewhere in your home, like sleeping bags, books, and pet food.  By being proactive in protecting your garage, you’ll curb the chances of a bug or rodent infestation, which is not only frustrating, but costly to get under control.

Chemicals or products that are hazardous should be researched before you store them anywhere, let alone your garage.  Oily rags, propane tanks, and paint all have their own special instructions to keep them intact and safely contained.

Sometimes organizing your garage isn’t enough and you can’t repair damages. That’s when it’s time for a new garage and Danley’s is here to help. We have been building garages for Chicago homeowners since 1959. Get a free quote now and start your garage building project today.

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