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How Much Weight Can an Attic Hold?

When I’m looking for storage space in my home, the attic is often the first place I turn. But while it might seem like a good place to store all the extra stuff you don’t use, an attic has restrictions as to how much it can support. 

The weight of the items stored above a certain point can actually cause the floor of your attic to collapse. That’s why I found it to be a good idea to be aware of the weight limitations of your attic and the things you can store in there to avoid damage to your home.

Generally, the weight that an attic can support depends on the structure of the attic floor along with the load bearing walls of the house.

The best way I use to find out my attic’s weight limit is to contact a professional contractor.

With about a third of your home being attic space, there is a lot of potential in this often forgotten space. 

A well designed attic can add value to your home, by providing added storage space, and often a second floor for a guest room or bonus room. 

Not only that, but a properly finished attic can even add comfort and value to your home’s indoor air quality.

How to determine the amount of weight an attic can hold

If you are planning to renovate your home or build a new one, you will need to plan out where the rooms are going to be placed, and what construction material you will be able to use. 

One of the first things that you will need to consider is the structural integrity of your home; this is why you need to know how much weight your attic can hold.

If you’re working with a contractor, you should bring along a structural engineer to assess your roof’s capacity and help you make your decision.

Essentially, the structure of the attic floor will impact the weight that the attic is able to hold. 

For instance, an aging flooring can warp, or even collapse, under the weight of additional items; so, an attic with a newer floor is able to hold more weight than one with a dated or damaged floor.

What should you not store in the attic?

When it comes to your attic, not all storage spaces are created equal. 

Storing the wrong things can create a slew of problems for homeowners. 

While some storage items can create water damage to your home, others can create fire hazards. 

If you have a use for your attic, it might be tempting to store things you don’t want to see in your living space. 

While that might make sense to you, it’s important to consider what’s at stake when you do. 

Did you know that the attic is one of the most common places to store valuables and important documents? 

It is also the most common place that the records and documents are lost or damaged. 

The attic is one of the hottest areas of your home and is susceptible to both extreme heat and extreme cold. 

It is also subject to water leaks, critters, and the burden of unwanted items.

The attic is also your last line of defense in the event of a fire, and storing records and documents in the attic just might be the worst idea you’ve ever had. 

And while you might think that fire damage to your records and documents won’t matter very much, you could be wrong. 

But how so? 

After all, you probably don’t store your birth certificate or passports in your attic, do you?

As you probably know, the most important reason to not store these documents in your attic is fire. 

If you have any items that could be destroyed by fire, such as the things I list here, you should think twice about moving them to your attic. 

Why? 

Because once they catch fire in your attic, by the time you put out the fire, the damage will be beyond repair.

Here are some items that you should never store in your attic.

  • Home records and documents
  • Old and unused furniture
  • Expensive items and decorations
  • Water heater
  • Paint 

The list does not end there.

Provided the items you want to store raises the following concerns, you should never store them in the attic:

1. Safety concerns.

2. You do not have proper storage.

3. Fire hazard.

4. Can cause a big mess.

5. Expensive to clean up.

6. Noisy.

7. Useless.

How long should you run an attic fan?

With summer in full swing and temperatures rising, many homeowners are keeping their fans running on high. 

If you have an attic fan, you may have wondered how long you should run it. 

There’s no single answer, as it depends on a variety of factors, including how many people are in the home and where in your home the fan is located.

Some people recommend running the fan whenever you are at home, others say to only run it when it’s hot.

While both groups are right, you may want to avoid problems that come with heat and moisture in the attic by running a fan installed with a thermostat to automatically switch on and off for a specific amount of time that you set, say 15 minutes, to maintain a desired temperature.

Conclusion 

Many people who have access to a crawl space often wonder what the weight their attic can hold. 

What’s the maximum ceiling weight for a standard, open attic? 

It turns out that the answer to that question is a lot more complicated than you might think.

This of course depends on a number of factors including the attic flooring, the attic’s overall size, and the design of the ceiling. 

The answer is not as straightforward as you may think.

But be sure to discuss everything that you with your professional contractor to build a durable and purposeful attic.

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