Many homes use basements and some bedrooms for storing items. Two mistakes that often occur are homeowners storing too many items, with some boxes being empty or filled with trash and two, they store items so high and so tightly packed to the wall that they can never see if there is a problem lurking. Pictured below is an example of a home that had a minor leak that went unnoticed for several weeks because of boxes stored from floor to near ceiling. The leak then caused damaged, not only to the stored items, but also the walls and floor. If the home would have had a better system for storing such items, most of this issue could have been remediated and repaired prior to causing extensive loss to building materials and personal contents. Too many packed items is also a major fire hazard and if you can not afford to part with any item, then considering a storage unit may be helpful in times like this.
There’s many places in a home we use for storing items, and sometimes when those items aren’t regularly used, they’re forgotten about completely. It’s always good to remember that the perimeter walls in any portion of your home should be visible to some extent so potential problems can be visible prior to them becoming major ones, like this small storage space. It was used to pack away stored items which are rarely used, if ever. Upon looking for something the owner opened the door and noticed a very strong smell before pulling out one of the boxes and seeing the growth. She admitted to never going into that closet for many years but did remember a leak that wet the drywall some time ago. Now almost all of us have sections of our home that are rarely used, but remember, every room needs to occasional check once in a while. This closet had to be completely demoed, as did some surrounding walls and then rebuilt because the initial water loss wasn’t properly taken care of and the boxes which were crammed in didn’t make it possible to see any underlying issues. When you make a checklist for spring and winter, be sure to add storage closets to your items.
If a water damage should occur in your home from any sort of leak or mechanical malfunction, having your stored items in boxes and on the floor could prove costly. To avoid such a mess like the picture below, consider upgrading all storage items into plastic boxes/totes. Items will not be as susceptible to water damage or mold growth as are boxes, and it will give your basement a cleaner look while being more organized.