Is Overhead Garage Storage Safe?

Regardless of the area of consideration, safety is a fundamental issue that requires careful consideration. Neat storage helps create tidy and pleasant environments that are also safe for your pets and children, preventing unnecessary accidents or respiratory diseases.  How do you get rid of that extra junk that you don’t want in your house? I can bet on it that your garage has crossed your mind, right? The garage overhead storage system comes to your aid in such instances. However, despite rewarding you with numerous benefits, you will still be scratching your head seeking the answer to the question, is overhead garage storage safe? I have done comprehensive research to keep you abreast of the various safety concerns posed by overhead garage storage systems.

You can entirely rely on an overhead garage storage system as the arrangement is safe and provides a great storage solution. However, the effectiveness of this unit requires certain essential considerations. For instance, you must ensure that you do not exceed the maximum pounds or limits that the storage system can hold. You can add to the security of the overhead garage storage by attaching the overhead shelves and racks to the walls. The overhead garage storage systems primarily foster top-notch orderliness and maximize space.

However, on the downside, the overhead garage storage presents several safety concerns either for other pedestrians, you, or your car, like bumping of heads onto steel racks or accidental slippage of equipment, thus damaging the top of your car. This piece is a worthwhile expatriation of the several safety issues of overhead garage storage systems and other ways to develop safety concerns.

The aim of apprising you with this invaluable information is to help you ensure that your safety and that of your car remains paramount and achievable. Read on.

Overhead Garage Storage Safety Concerns

The garage is inevitably one of the most regularly visited sections in many homes and it would help if you are well-versed with all the safety concerns that comes with the overhead garage systems. You must be sure of the answer to the question, is overhead garage storage safe? A garage owner who can answer this question makes the welfare of the user of pertinent interest as well as that of the housed car. As much as the installed overhead garage storage system is incredibly beneficial, your safety or that of your car can be compromised through various avenues, including;

Head bumping

Most overhead garage storage systems like racks or shelves are installed hanging down from the ceiling to a level above the roof-line of your car hence the name overhead.

For this reason, low-hanging steel racks will have you deeply execrating while rolling in excruciating pain after you unexpectedly hit your head against the steel rack corners. You don’t want to experience this agonizing encounter.

Therefore, you should ensure that the racks, shelves, or any other type of overhead garage storage system do not hang extremely low during installation.

Buckling Risks

The risk of the ceiling or the installed overhead garage storage system collapsing would be quite dreadful. Several factors could serve as triggers resulting in the collapsing, including;

  1. Installing on a debilitated ceiling – If the ceiling of your garage has been in your service for very long periods, then there are chances that there are some parts that might be rotting. Also, garage ceilings with a wooden framework exposed to high humidity levels might have some rotting parts.
  2. Negligence of the recommended weight ratings – Most overhead garage storage solutions is rated to hold up to 600 pounds. However, the weight ratings vary depending on the type of overhead storage solution you choose. Your choice is therefore guided by the type of items you intend to store.

Storing heavy-duty equipment in a rack intended for lightweight items would breach the recommended weight rating for that specific rack. This may force the rack to give in to the immense weight of the heavy-duty equipment unexpectedly, therefore, causing damage to your car or you as an individual.

  1. Unchecked rusting/corrosion of metallic overhead storage systems – High humidity levels negatively affect overhead garage storage solutions like steel racks. Elevated and consistent humidity levels cause a corrosive reaction on steel racks. This may influence the rack’s ability to hold against the weight of the stored items and might just false the rack to buckle down.
  2. The imprudence of the ceiling’s weight capacity – Your garage’s ceiling is one of the two crucial weight parameters that require absolute attention. Inattentive and hasty determination of the weight that your ceiling can support will give you the wrong perspective. Lack of a clear guideline on how much to store in the installed overhead garage storage system will have you storing items weighing more than the ceiling can support and might therefore be predisposed to buckling.

Injury from tumbling items

The whole point of installing overhead storage systems is to maximize the storage space in your garage. This means all that junk you need away from your house will still be available to you. However, as much as the overhead storage solution is admirable, your safety can be compromised if the stored items are forced to come tumbling down when;

  1. Loosely hanging items are interfered with – Failure to store items systematically and thoroughly in an overhead storage system but rather leaving them hanging off the edge might be the next reason for an inflamed head.

Whether a bump, a small earthquake, or a door slam, any trigger will send the loosely hanging items tumbling. If fortunately, the tumbling items don’t injure you, you will still have to break a sweat when collecting the scattered items from all over the place, re-arrange them and store them once again on the downside.

  1. Tools used for accessing top shelves trip – when you need to access items that are especially stacked on top of others, you may need assistance from tools like step-stools or a ladder.

 However, positioning these tools on surfaces that miss chunks of cement or those that bear cracks presents a tripping hazard. If your trip, you will most likely reach out for the nearest stored item in a bid to support yourself but instead also send the supplies tumbling over you. Risky, right?

How to avoid the occurrence of these safety issues

  1. Be wary of the low-hanging racks or shelves. You should keep in mind that you need to watch your head when maneuvering low-hanging overhead garage storage systems.
  2. If you are just about to proceed with the installation, opt for solutions that will not hang extremely low to avoid bumping your head.
  3. Check out the condition of your ceiling before conducting the installation. Installation should not proceed on an old, rotted ceiling.
  4. Determine the type of items you intend to store and settle for a convenient solution. For instance, wooden overhead storage would not be ideal for heavy-duty equipment, whereas a metallic overhead solution would be convenient.
  5. Keep in high regard the recommended weight rating for that particular overhead storage system you have installed to prevent buckling.
  6. Frequently conduct maintenance checks by getting rid of rust, removing dust and debris by wiping and touting for the tightness of the screws.
  7. Ensure that items are meticulously stored and not left loosely hanging off the edge to prevent tumbling instances after small triggers.
  8. To promote a sturdy grip, drilling pilot holes before using the provided screws is highly recommended in installation.
  9. Attention should also be paid to the weight capacity of your garage ceiling. Determination of the weight that your ceiling can hold will help you avoid storing items that may force the ceiling to give in to their weight.
  10. Carefully determine items that can be stacked over other items and those that cannot. This will bring convenience when trying to access items and ensure items are stored in a balanced manner, thus avoiding tumbling.
  11. High humidity levels which present a major buckling risk should be fixed through;
  • Applying apple cider vinegar that gets rid of mildew and mold from surfaces.
  • Employing a garage dehumidifier, especially for humid zones.
  • Spraying WD40 Specialist Corrosion Inhibitor on metal. This agent, interestingly, can also be used to get rid of rust.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are garage ceiling racks safe?

The safety of the ceiling racks is entirely dependent on proper installation. With appropriate installation and provided you do not overload your garage ceiling, the safety of the overhead storage is guaranteed. Most storage manufacturers always put their products through intense testing and rate them up based on a particular weight limit that must not be exceeded to ensure safety.

How much weight can I hang from my garage ceiling?

Another often-debated question is always on the weight that a garage ceiling can support. However, the number of floors you have in your garage plays a significant role in determining the appropriate weight for the garage ceiling. For instance, if you have an extra floor above your garage, up to 40lbs/SgFt can be supported by a ceiling structure, including the weight of the floor above. On the other hand, if your garage has no extra floor above, it can only support up to 10lbs/SqFT.

How can I strengthen my garage Truss?

Strengthening the garage truss involves applying glue to every piece of plywood you cut and then sandwich them on the garage trusses. You will then clamp them in place. In a case where there are cracks in the garage trusses, you will center the plywood over the crack. You will then start by installing the screws on every foot along the perimeter and the ends.


It is indeed your garage that always saves the day when you need most of the items like decorations, bicycles, or other junk that seems dispensable stored away from your house. Overhead garage storage solutions come a long way in ensuring you always have maximal space for junk storage in the long run and this incredibly  answer the question individuals always seek, is overhead garage storage safe?

However, it is true that these overhead storage solutions, despite being of incredible advantage in our garages, present safety risks. Having the overhead storage system and its contents collapsing on you or your car, for instance, would be quite a massive safety issue.

However, do not fret as an insight into these safety concerns has been provided to keep you in the know and help you know how to counter these issues even before they arise.

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