If you’ve ever been in a basement before, you already know that this is a very musty and damp space. Unfinished basements tend to have moisture issues due to flooding. Despite it being extremely humid, basements serve as additional storage space. Many homeowners carry all their keepsakes down there without realizing this is a bad move. 

Some of your foes in the basement are mold, water infiltration, and pests. These living and non-living things can cause irreversible damage to the items kept below ground level. Not everything can be stored in a damp, unfinished basement. 

We have listed down items that you should never store in your basement. Read on to learn more:


One of the worst enemies of books is moisture. If you store bookshelves in the basements, expect that your books will turn yellow and eventually brown. Excessive levels of humidity will cause mold to grow on the books. This is the last thing you want to happen when you are a book collector. Moreover, silverfish thrive in dark environments like basements. These bugs are attracted to starchy substances like the binding of your book. Sooner or later, they will feast on almost every part of your books including paper, leather cover, and cardboard.

Don’t worry because you can still turn your basement into a good storage space for books. To keep out the moisture, you may hire a basement remodeler and use HEPA filters that will facilitate airflow. Always monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the basement. Anything around 65-70° Fahrenheit with 30-50% humidity should be fine.

Important Papers and Files

Avoid keeping important paperwork in the basement. Similar to books, your property deeds, car titles, birth certificates, tax documents, and passports should be placed away from excess moisture. Do not place these files in boxes where they can get wet and damaged. A lot of paper-eating bugs may be hiding in your basement area. To avoid damage and misplacement, store your important documents in airtight plastic containers.


Since there’s a risk of mold in the basement, it shouldn’t be a place where you will store your child’s favorite toys. Dust mites on stuffed animals and plush toys might cause your child’s allergy symptoms. Before you place children’s toys in the basement, secure them in airtight containers to keep bugs out.

Family Photos and Keepsakes

Like important documents, family heirlooms and keepsakes don’t belong in the basement. The dampness of basement air will cause the photos to stick to each other. Any keepsakes should be ideally placed in a dry place, not a humid environment.

Rugs and Carpets

Rolled-up rugs and carpet fibers are absorbent materials. They will absorb moisture and musty odors in your dark, humid basement. Aside from this, mice and bugs love to hide in rolled-up rugs and beddings where they are not seen. It’s best to store these fabrics inside plastic containers to protect them against mold, bugs, and rodents.

Old Clothes

Worn-out clothes that you don’t wear every day should be kept in a closet instead of your basement. Coats, fur jackets, and winter clothing may be damaged by silverfish and mildew. To protect them from pest and water damage, keep your off-season clothes in tight-sealing plastic containers and add silica gel packets.


Your basement is one of the worst areas for storing firewood. The high humidity levels in the basement will cause the firewood to rot. When you store extra firewood in the basement, you’re inviting pests into your house. Termites and wood-boring insects will find it easier to get in and spread throughout your home. Firewood should always be stored outside at least 20 feet away from your home. You may choose to store it in a shed or any outdoor storage area.

Flammable Materials

Avoid placing hazardous chemicals and gas-related materials in your basement. Paints, gasoline, kerosene, or spare fuel canisters may emit noxious fumes into the air. They may eventually explode due to temperature fluctuations happening below the ground. For the safety of everyone inside, store these things away from sources of ignition.

Have a Waterproof Basement for Your Home!

Pittsburgh Basement Remodeling is here to address humidity and moisture issues in your basement. Over the years, we’ve been offering quality basement remodeling services to our clients. Give us a call to get your basement project started!