Protecting Your Storage Assets Against Moisture Damage
Published on 10/31/2023
Excessive moisture in a storage unit can lead to
the growth of mold, mildew, rust, corrosion, rot, and insect
infestations. Items that are particularly susceptible to moisture
damage include photos, electronics, clothing, furs, wood, leather, and
mattresses. Here are
some tips to help you combat moisture levels and protect your belongings while
they are in storage:
- Check for leaks: If you are using an
outdoor storage unit, check for any leaks before renting. This is the
easiest way to prevent water damage to your property. Take notice of any
cracks in the walls or ceiling, no matter how small–they can easily widen over
time and allow for damage-causing leaks.
- Ask about the humidity level: If you are
using an indoor unit, inquire about the humidity level. The relative
humidity in a storage facility should be below 50 percent to prevent
moisture damage, rust, mold, wood rot, and mildew growth. You can purchase
a relative humidity gauge at most hardware stores and install it in your
unit to monitor the RH yourself.
- Never store anything that’s damp: Before
packing your belongings away in your storage unit, verify that everything
is dry and free of dampness. If you wash your clothes prior to placing
them in storage, check to make sure that they are completely dry. Before
packing away any aquatic equipment (surfboards, scuba gear, wet suits,
bathing suits, etc.) confirm that everything is thoroughly dried and free
of moisture. Anything wet or damp that is placed inside your unit will
contribute to the moisture level in the air.
- Install a vapor barrier: A vapor barrier
is a polyethylene plastic or foil coating used to damp-proof any room or
space. They are typically thin, flexible membranes with a permeability
value of less than 1.0. They should be installed on the warm side of the
storage unit’s wall to block outdoor moisture as well as beneath the floor
to inhibit ground moisture from seeping inside. You can purchase vapor
barrier from most hardware or home goods stores.
- Make homemade desiccant packs: Using a
piece of fabric, create a pouch filled with moisture-absorbing crystals
such as silica gel or charcoal. Sew two squares of fabric together on
three sides to create a pocket. Turn it inside out and fill with silica
crystals. Fold in the top, pin it shut and then sew it closed. Hang the desiccant
bag inside your storage unit.
You can also place an open bag of kitty litter
inside your storage unit or pour it into a bucket. The clay effectively absorbs the moisture in the air
and prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Kitty litter may need to be changed every several weeks to maintain
these tips help you keep your belongings safe and dry!