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  • Writer's pictureJoyce Insurance

10 Things You Should NOT Store in Your Basement

Possessing a basement provides you with that extra storage space for items you have no room for. But before you begin stashing anything away, you should know that the basement and some items don't go well together. Knowing what not to keep in your basement and the right homeowners insurance for when it's unavoidable can help protect the things that are most important to you.


#1. Chemicals and other flammable materials

Paint, propane tanks, and other flammable house materials are huge fire risks in a low-ventilated area like the basement. Instead, store propane tanks in a well-ventilated area outside and save other items in a shed or according to the manufacturer's directives.


#2. Printed photos

Photos allow us to remember the most special moments in our lives, but they can easily be ruined in the basement. The high humidity can cause the photos to melt and stick together. So if you're looking for a place to store away those wedding or vacation photos, it's not the basement.


#3. Important documents

Birth certificates, passports, property deeds, and other important documents can easily get damaged by moisture in the basement. Insects can also eat into them, making the basement one of the places not to keep important documents.


#4. Antiques

Have antiques and heirlooms passed down from many generations before yours? The last things you want to stow in the basement are your antiques, given how irreplaceable they are. The high temperature can cause them to shrink, swell, or crack, while the basement's darkness and underground location make them susceptible to attack by insects and fungi.


#5. Furniture, artwork and decorative items

Basement storage can do more harm than good to those pricey furniture, artworks, and decorative items. Instead, store your items somewhere airy or temperature-controlled to prevent moisture and pest damage.


#6. Books and magazines

As with documents, the basement is unfriendly to books and other paper components as the dampness makes them susceptible to water, mold, and mildew damage. Better to store your books above ground, in an air-tight, water-tight storage container.


#7. Food

Food is a great candidate for basement damage. While cellars are suitable for storing wines, beers, fruits and vegetables, you cannot say the same for basements, as they are prone to temperature changes, damaging your alcohol and even canned food. Insects can also wreak havoc on your packaged food items.


#8. Firewood

The dampness in the basement can cause firewood to rot and damage. Even if you use your firewood before it rots, it won't burn well, generating more smoke than fire. In addition, in the event of a house fire - however unlikely it is - firewood makes for a great inferno.


#9. Clothes and shoes

The basement is a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and insects. So you want to keep your off-season clothes and shoes somewhere cool, dry, and well-ventilated. Most climate-controlled spots in your home will be fine.


#10. Electronics

Storing electronics in your basement, especially if it's unfinished, is not a good idea. And it doesn't matter if the electronics are outdated. The humidity and temperature can strip away every functionality left, rendering them useless. Instead, find new homes for them or even recycle them.


If you've converted your basement into a storage space, it's only ideal to use it. But before you do so, protect your valuable and expensive items with the right insurance coverage. Get started by contacting us today.


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