Storing building materials can prove challenging for some individuals that live in confined spaces or smaller homes. Hanging on to these often-expensive items for future projects can actually hinder their utility if they are not kept in controlled conditions or are allowed to prematurely deteriorate. There are some recommendations made for properly storing common building materials, and some clever techniques offered when feeling like you are running low on space. Spring clean-up or other warm-weather chores might be the perfect time to re-evaluate current materials and storage method to ensure you are not risking damage or compromise to these items, which may impact their future usefulness.
Storage tips for building materials include:
The disadvantages of storing lumber in sub-standard conditions can greatly hamper the future utility of planks, boards, or wooden items in future home projects. Moisture is not kind to wood, particularly when pieces are left on the ground or unprotected from the elements, such as rain or snow. Staining, rotting, and discoloration are problems when trying to store wood outside or by covering it up with tarpaulin for protection. Furthermore, wood that is not accessible when it is needed during a project becomes a waste of storage, effort, and money. For this reason, wood should be stored in sheltered areas of the basement, garage, or shop, via horizontal racks that run along the walls. When this is not viable, consider overhead storage such as against rafters of a space that will permit you to see what you have on-hand and access it without struggle. This also lifts the planks or boards away from the ground or floor that could cause irreversible damage.
Some building materials may pose challenges in safe storing, and you may be unaware of the risks that these items can cause. Glues, cleaners, stains, and paint can be flammable and some emit toxic fumes when left uncovered in storage. When storing chemicals , it is a good practice to always keep them in a cool, shaded place that is safe from children or animals. Be sure lids are always secured tightly. It is also prudent for you to always wear rubber gloves when handling or rearranging chemicals in the storage areas of the home. Use spring cleaning as the chance to clean out these potentially-hazardous products, discarding any that are unfamiliar, have missing labels, or that appear compromised from time or weather. Even if you know what is contained in the jug or bottle, avoid future confusion by tossing it out or take the time to create a label for the container.
Saving hardware, knobs, and fixtures makes good sense for future projects, but can become chaos if not maintained in an orderly fashion. Keeping like-items together in tall glass jars is the best way for you to keep small items, such as screws or nails, where they can be conveniently accessed later on. Glass works well, and be sure lids are tightly secured. Moisture in the jar can cause pieces to rust which can compromise delicate threading or dull sharp points.
It is critical for tools to be stored in clean, dry condition, and to be secured someplace free from moisture or dampness. Tools can cost good money, and storage should be congruent with their value. Throwing them into a box or keeping them in disarray not only makes them less accessible when needed, but could incur damage to some items. Be sure to tuck them out-of-sight in unsecured areas of the home, such as garages. Compartmentalized toolboxes serve a greater purpose than convenient transport of these items; these containers keep items separated and secured, typically with locking capabilities protecting your investment.
A pegboard is useful in workshops or at benches where you usually work on projects or tasks. While these keep items organized and stream-lined, they could also be an alluring temptation if left in public view.
Depending on what you own, it might be pragmatic to rent a self-storage unit or other space in climate controlled conditions for your materials. This may certainly be a wise investment if you are holding on to high-quality wood or expensive fixtures, such as porcelain sinks or toilets. Taking some thought and time to organize and protect your building materials now, ensures that they will be useful and functional when you need them during home projects.