Moisture is the worst enemy of any storage unit. You can’t allow it to find its way where you have your precious items stored. But controlling moisture levels indoors, especially during the winter months, can become an uphill task. But whether it’s summer or winter, you can’t allow even a pinch of moisture to reach your delicate items.
Find ways to keep moisture out and keep the storage area dry always. One way to do this is through checking leaks, controlling the humidity levels, and ensuring your stored items are dry. You don’t want to check on your items after a prolonged storage period to find that you can’t use them anymore due to moisture damage.
Well, if you’re getting worried about the rising moisture levels in your storage unit, then you need to relax. As long as you prepare yourself early enough with some of the methods to keep the storage unit dry, there’s nothing that will touch your precious items. Here are some easy tips to keep moisture away from your storage unit.
Check the Humidity Levels
A perfect indoor humidity should be something between 30% and 50%. Anything below or above this range can pose a danger to your items. Always measure the humidity levels to ensure they’re within this range. You can install a humidity gauge to check the humidity levels in your storage unit. You can also call professionals to check and ensure the humidity levels in the unit are within the range.
While both options work great, a hygrometer can be the best one as you can rid the levels of moisture in the air even when you’re away. Don’t allow the humidity levels to rise above 50% because this will mean the growth of mold and mildew in your storage unit, which is automatic damage to your items.
You can also take matters into your hand and investigate storage units before hiring one. Any storage unit that regularly experiences a rise in humidity levels should be a no-go zone. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Only Store Dry Items
You can’t put moisture out of your storage unit if you’re the one bringing in moisture with your items. Even a single damp cloth can invite moisture to the entire unit. A wet item increases the humidity levels in the room, which also invites the growth of mildew and mold.
Don’t store any wet item or one that can attract moisture into the storage unit. Make sure everything you’re going to store is completely dry. Also, stay away from liquid as it can spill over. If you’re going to store things like your gym wear or swimming gear, dry them first.
Be Alert on Leaks
One thing you never want on your storage unit is leaks. But leaks can go unnoticed for a long time that you only realize it once your items are damaged. Just because your storage unit doesn’t leak at the storage time doesn’t mean it won’t. Do a thorough inspection before storing your items to determine if there are holes and cracks on the ceiling and walls. Repair any damage, no matter how small it may look, to prevent water from leaking into your storage.
After storage, keep checking the storage units for any cracks and holes formed after the first inspection. Changing weather conditions can still cause holes and cracks. You should realize that early enough and protect your items from any risk of damage. Your storage unit manager should always be willing to seal any leaking areas.
Make Use of Desiccants
Moisture can still creep into your storage unit unnoticed. You need to stay on high alert always by protecting your items even when there are no dangers. Materials that absorb moisture can work on your behalf to keep moisture out of your precious items. A silica gel desiccant will never disappoint. They’re available in your nearest home hardware.
To use the silica gel, create a pouch with a piece of fabric and fill it with silica gel crystals. Create a pocket by sewing the two sides, fill with silica gel, fold, and pin to shut. Hang the bag inside the storage unit. The crystals will do the work of absorbing up to 40 percent of moisture in the air. You need to replace the crystals regularly because they can only work for a given period.
Use a Vapor Barrier
This can be a foil coating of polyethylene plastic that you can use to trap moisture from the storage unit. The barriers come in thin, flexible membranes which are 1.0 permeable. Install this on the warm side of the wall to block any moisture coming in from the outside. You can also use the barrier on the floor to block any moisture coming in from the ground. Vapor barriers with less than 1.0 permeability are available to various hardware stores.
Charcoal is another well-known product when it comes to moisture absorption. It’s also a natural and homemade way of keeping away moisture from your home. Charcoal works so well to keep moisture out through absorption. This homemade product will also help keep away musty odors that come from a damp room.
You can use charcoal the same way you use silica gel if you place them in small pouches. Use a bucket aligned with foil. Be careful with charcoal use in the storage room as it can stain the precious items you have in there. Handle charcoal with care and always make sure the storage room stays well-organized.
Go for a Storage Unit with a Climate Control
When you live in an area that experiences high humidity levels most of the time, the only way to keep moisture out is through climate control. Storing your items for a long time in a humid area without climate control will be like leaving them there to get damaged.
The climate control units are perfect for controlling the humidity levels before they build up. They can be a great defense against the wear and tear of devices in storage. The units come installed with dehumidifiers and air conditions to take care of moisture buildup and keep the room fresh and dry. The climate control units work 24 hours to ensure the room’s humidity levels remain constant always.
You will need to pay extra to rent a room with a climate control unit, but this is worth every penny. You can always have peace of mind knowing that your items are completely dry and free from harm. So, if the value of your items is much more than the amount you’re going to pay, don’t hesitate to pay for it.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
A good amount of air supply in your storage room can work well in keeping moisture away. You’re going to pay nothing to get fresh air to flow in your house; hence this is the easiest and the cheapest thing to do. To ensure proper airflow, there are certain things that you must keep in mind.
- Don’t fill up the room with too many things that will block any airflow chances in freely.
- Avoid stacking boxes together with no airflow.
- Don’t push your furniture against the wall.
- Make sure you keep everything away from the floor by using wooden pallets.
If you keep all these in mind when storing your items, you’ll indeed allow proper airflow and encourage condensation.
Ensure Proper Packing
Something as simple as packing your items properly can be the solution you’re looking for to keep moisture out of your storage unit. Find the best way to pack and protect every specific item from moisture. How you’re going to pack electronics are different from the way you’ll pack wood furniture. Get the right packaging supply made specifically for the item and wrap properly. You can also use a plastic sheet to cover some items.
If you’re storing furniture, ensure they’re always in an upright position. Don’t allow space in between as moisture will find room. Make sure your furniture items are not in direct contact with the floor. Take extra care when storing old wood furniture because it can rot quickly under moisture attack. For clothing and other fabrics, dry them thoroughly and pack them in moving boxes. If there are no boxes, hang them in a wardrobe in the storage unit.
There are countless ways to keep moisture out of your storage unit that you can try out. Find a method that will work well for you depending on the type of items you plan to store. Also, don’t forget to check your items regularly, even if you have a moisture control unit working 24/7. Sometimes moisture can still find its way in despite the efforts.
If things seem to be getting out of control, you need to find the help of a professional. Professionals can help identify moisture problems and suggest ways to control them before they get to your items. The secret to keeping moisture out is always on high alert. Be prepared to fight mold, mildew, and other moisture problems to protect your items.