Three Factors that Influence What Not to Store in Your Garage

May 05, 2022

Custom Garage Storage System

Garage storage can be utilized for a variety of purposes. However, there are three factors that influence what items may be stored in a garage and what items may not. After reading this post, you will be more confident about the three factors that influence what items should not be stored in your garage and why.

 
We will be discussing the three influential factors that influence what items not to store in a garage, along with examples,
 
Are the Items Temperature Dependent? 
  • Liquor- Beer and Wine
  • Paint
  • Wood Furniture
 
Are Any of the Items Considered Hazardous?
  • Gasoline tanks
  • Propane tanks
  • Cleaning Products- Why They Can Be Stored in Garages
 
Do Any of the Items Attract Vermin?
  • Canned Food
  •  Pet Food
  •  Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Cardboard Products
 
The above factors can apply to those with any size garage. Let’s rummage through the factors and discover why certain items do not thrive in garage type environments.

Are the Items Temperature Dependent?

Beer Cans
Temperature has a direct impact on what items will be preserved in your garage and what items will not. High temperatures as well as low temperatures can negatively impact the physical appearance, the texture, and taste of the items that are stored in your garage.

Wine

Wine, for example, does not thrive in a ninety degree, muggy garage. As a matter of fact, if wine is stored too long in temperature fluctuating environments, such as a garage, it could become contaminated, thereby losing its natural color and taste. The process occurs when the wine oxidizes, meaning that it breaks down from the humid, moist conditions and results in the corks prematurely opening and allowing air into the wine, which results in contamination . Keep in mind that one night in a garage will not significantly contaminate a bottle of wine, versus storing that same bottle in your garage for 5 months.

Beer

Beer is another type of beverage that does not thrive in continuously warm temperatures. The longer that beer is stored in a warm environment, the more likely it is that the quality of the beer will decrease in taste. At the same time, one night in a garage will not ruin a twelve pack of Heineken versus four months being stored in the same environment and not receiving any form of refrigeration.

Paint

Paint is also not recommended to be stored in garages, as the change in temperature alters the solidity of the paint. In other words, if paint is stored in an overly hot or overly cold area, such as a garage, the ingredients in it could separate or curdle. Curdling means that the mixture could become overly thick or resemble a gel like consistency and therefore become unusable.

Wood Furniture

A few years ago, I made the mistake of storing my oak table in my garage. The result was a moldy, rotting mess. I had no idea that wood was such a sensitive material, that does not take kindly to being stored in humid, moist temperatures, such as in a garage. If faced with storing any type of wood furniture in your garage, try to find an alternative storage location. Garages not only provide little insulation and protection, they also become significantly humid in the summer months and humidity is the enemy of wood. The longer wood furniture is stored in a garage, the higher the likelihood that the furniture may become cracked or warped over time.

Are Any of the Items Considered Hazardous?

Gasoline Can
Many people are confused about whether or not certain “hazardous materials” can be stored in a garage. The answer is, it depends. There are some hazardous materials that should not be stored in a garage, under any circumstances, and others that can be stored in a garage, as long as the proper precautionary measures are taken to store the items safely. Below are two examples of substances that should not be stored in an attached garage, which is a garage that is directly connected to a home.

Propane tanks

Many people often keep an extra propane tank available in their garages, without taking into account the recommended safety measures when storing it correctly. Propane is a highly combustible fuel that does not react well to rising temperatures or improper ventilation conditions. It can however be safely stored both inside and outside, as long as the homeowners take the necessarily precautionary steps to ensure safety. In winter time for example, a propane tank can easily be stored uncovered outside, as cold temperatures do not damage the liquid nor do they pose any safety risks to the homeowners. All that needs to be done is to place the tanks as far away as possible from the home and then prop the tanks on a piece of plywood or concrete, to support them. In the summer months, propane tanks do require a more ventilated, temperature controlled environment as heat and gas do not react well to each other. As a result, finding a shady spot to store your propane tank in the summer time is advisable. If needed, propane tanks can be stored in detached garages, away from all electrical and flammable materials. To learn more about propane tank storage, visit Amerigas.com.

Gasoline tanks

It is clear that gasoline is a highly dangerous, highly combustible substance that should not be stored in any location close to your home, including an attached garage. Instead, the tanks can be stored in detached structures that are not connected to your home, such as a detached garage or shed. The farther away the tanks are stored, the better. Additionally, the detached structures will provide the tanks with a more consistent internal temperature, that is advisable for gasoline storage. To learn more about how to properly store gasoline tanks, visit Exxon.com.

 
One type of product that can be stored in any type of garage are cleaning products. However, there are specific safety and storage requirements that should be followed, regardless of the chemicals.

Cleaning Products

The majority of cleaning products can be stored in a garage, as long as the necessary safety precautions are taken when storing them correctly. The first precaution is reading the label for storage instructions. Cleaning products such as bleach and ammonia, are not fans of extreme temperature changes and while they can be stored in garages, they do require a separate storage unit, to maintain the necessary temperatures. For more information about storing cleaning products and other chemicals in a garage, visit Napaonline.com.

Do Any of the Items Attract Vermin?

 
Canned Soup
Any items that attract vermin are discouraged from being stored in a garage, as they will not be able to be consumed in the long term. Here are a few prime examples:

Canned Food

As tempting as it is to take advantage of a good sale at Publix, it is not worth putting your health at risk by storing canned foods, of any kind, in a garage. Simply put, food attracts bugs. The longer canned goods are stored in a garage, the more likely it is that insects and vermin will enjoy your provisions. At the same time, the humid conditions in a garage are not an ideal environment for storing canned goods. Interestingly enough, canned food can still spoil, if not stored properly at the correct temperature. If a 12 pack of kidney beans, for example, has been sitting in a garage for five months and you find yourself needing them for a pot of chili, chances are that those cans will have either rusted or spoiled, due to either the fluctuating temperatures, rusting, or possibly insects penetrating the seals.

Pet Food

The same principles of not storing canned goods in a garage also apply to pet food storage. Damp, moist, humid conditions in a garage are prime environments for insects. In short, pet food will attract insects. The longer that pet food is stored in a garage, the greater the chances that the food will not be safe for your pets to eat, because of the potential contamination from insects and vermin. However, there is a difference between storing a twenty pound bag of dog food in your garage for four months versus one day. The longer pet food is stored in a garage, the higher the likelihood that it will spoil and be inedible for your pets to consume.

Clothing

Leaving clothes in a garage, even if they are sealed, is not recommended. Clothes left in damp, moist environments are at risk of being attacked by insects, as they are not being stored properly. Moths, in particular, are attracted to fabrics that are made from animal skins including sweaters and leather goods. Additionally, there is also a risk of car fumes seeping into the fabrics, leaving your clothes smelling like motor oil.

Bedding

Bedding-related items such as linens and comforters are discouraged from being stored in garages, because the moist, humid temperatures give way to the possibility of mold developing. The longer bedding is stored in a garage, the greater the risk of damages. To learn more about how to properly store bedding, visit Lifestorage.com.

Cardboard Products

We are all guilty of storing cardboard boxes in our garages, myself included. However, it is not the best idea due to the potential for animals to chew through the boxes and potentially damage the goods inside. At the same time, cardboard also has the ability to absorb a great deal of moisture, which may result in mold and mildew developing.

Final Thoughts

Considering the above factors when storing items in your garage will prevent you from making common garage storage errors. If you’re considering, for example, storing the spare bottle of wine in your garage, think about how temperature may impact the overall quality of the wine. Additionally, reconsider storing hazardous materials in alternative locations, aside from your garage. Finally, locate alternative locations when storing items that may attract vermin.
 
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