Attics are great places to store things. There’s loads of space, it’s out of the way and most people never get up into their attic, so you never have to worry about what you’re storing up there. But as easy as it is to forget about what you’re storing up there, you should make regular checks to ensure that it’s all still okay: to ensure no rats have gotten in and there’s no build up of mold or other residue.
Spring is the perfect time to get some of that work done, so we came up with 5 tips to make that job easier.
We know many people cram their attics as full as possible. This makes it hard to get everything out of an attic, especially those which require a ladder to get to. But make an effort to pick up and move every item and box. This way you ensure that everything in the roof is still in one piece, and you’re not hiding any problems.
Especially attics that don’t get visited often, the first thing you note when getting in there is the dust. You need to get rid of it. Broomsticks, feather dusters and dustpans will only get you so far. Use a vacuum cleaner to get into small areas and cracks, and if possible try hire a commercial vacuum cleaner which will be able to suck up more and also trap finer dust particles.
It’s important to be on the lookout for mold in your attic. Usually we consider the attic to be a dry environment, but with little airflow, moisture can build up, and a small leak can soon lead to a large infestation. Mold looks ugly, is a health concern and can lead to rot in wood and other materials. Get that sorted out before you pack everything back and close the attic up till next year.
To ensure you don’t succumb to any ill effects thanks to your cleaning efforts, at the very least get your hands on a dust mask. You’re going to be causing a lot of dust clouds, and you don’t want to be breathing any of those particles. Hardware stores sell different types, you can even get a full-face mask if that suits your style.
Use this opportunity to improve the state of your attic. Yes, you want to clean and check for any issues, but use the time spent up there to go through your stuff and get rid of things you no longer need or want. Old clothes and gym equipment can get donated, other things can be repurposed or tossed. It’ll make the process next time that much easier.
Beyond leaving you with a good feeling of having accomplished something, cleaning your attic can go a long way to keeping your family healthy. Attics generally don’t receive much attention and are thus a breeding ground for a number of allergens. If you’re concerned that this might be an issue you should contact a professional cleaning service to come evaluate your attic.