No matter how big a home is, somehow there’s never enough room for storage. No wonder we love our basements! They seem the perfect place to stash all the odds and ends we don’t use on a daily basis.
But basement storage comes with some hazards. Basements can be damp and prone to flooding or issues with sewer backups. And sometimes insects like them as much as we do.
So what is safe to keep in a basement? State Farm suggests being wary of storing:
Electronics: Stashing expensive electronics in a basement can be risky, particularly if the area is unfinished. State Farm suggests evaluating how “climate controlled” the area is. In all cases, be sure to keep TVs, gaming systems and other electronics in a “moisture-free space” that’s off the ground.
Artwork: Humidity combined with poor ventilation can compromise paintings, photographs and other pieces of art. Best to keep these items upstairs.
Flammables: It’s tempting to want to store paint and other items used for home projects in the basement, but some of these are highly flammable and dangerous to store near gas-powered appliances, such as a furnace. Read the labels on each item and follow their directions strictly.
Books and important documents: Just as with artwork, humidity and poor ventilation aren’t a good mix for paper items. If the area is climate controlled, you might be OK. But otherwise, State Farm advises storing books “above ground and in sturdy, leak-proof containers” and placing critical documents, such as birth certificates, upstairs in a locked fire box.
Most other items will be fine in the basement, including clothing, bulk household supplies (such as paper towels), non-perishable food, and yard tools. Still, State Farm suggests installing shelving so that they can be placed off the basement floor.