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If a garage already features a loft for storage, it may not be a good idea to simply throw boxes of belongings up there just yet. Before storing any items in the space, it is important to ensure the garage loft storage area can support the weight of the items a homeowner or renter intends to place there. Some garage loft storage spaces are crudely made with pieces of wood laid across beams or joists; while this may be suitable for lighter items, it may not be able to handle the weight of all the items the homeowner or renter intends to store.
The garage loft storage space should be solidly constructed, either with high quality wood or with metal plates that are rated for load bearing applications. It is best to secure the boards or plates to beams and joists for added security, and the beams and joists themselves should be carefully inspected for cracks, loose hardware, or any other type of damage that can compromise the integrity of the garage loft storage space. Once a thorough inspection is complete, items can be stored in the space.
This area of the garage may be difficult to access on a regular basis, so it is best to store only seldom used items in the garage loft storage space. Christmas decorations, for example, only need to be accessed once a year, so they are prime candidates for storage in the loft space. Before shoving random boxes up into the loft, however, it is a good idea to think about what items will be accessed least often, and what items may be accessed more often. The least often accessed items should be stored toward the back of the loft, while items that may be needed more often should be stored toward the front of the garage loft storage space.
Remember that a loft space is only as dry and protected as the roof above it. If the roof develops leaks, the items stored in the loft can get wet, leading to mold or other damage. If the homeowner or renter is storing items that can be damaged by water, it is a good idea to store those items in waterproof containers or plastic bins. If leakage is an issue, any roof damage should be addressed immediately. Plastic sheets can be used to create a temporary barrier between roof moisture and stored items, but this is only a temporary fix that may not be especially efficient.
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