So just why is choosing a climate-controlled storage unit so important? Well, one of the most disheartening things that can happen is opening your storage unit after a period of time only to find vestiges of mold and mildew on everything. When that happens, moisture is at fault. Excess moisture can also lead to rust, corrosion, rot, insect and pest infestations. So how do you prevent it from happening to you?
Self Storage: Avoid Potential Moisture Issues
It starts with renting a storage unit that is inside a climate-controlled facility. But that’s just the start, here are some other tips to help you – and your valuables – avoid falling prey to moisture and humidity issues while in storage.
Before You Pack:
Clean & Dry – Before you start packing your items in boxes ensure that all items are clean and most importantly… dry. Even the smallest thing like food crumbs on clothes can attract rodents. And even with a hint of moisture, clothing or upholstery can become moldy and items made of wood can begin to rot and metal items can start to rust.
The Right Box – Second, choose your boxes carefully as they can help protect items from humidity. For clothing, plastic boxes with airtight lids seem to be the best choice. On the other hand, for art or photos or books, you should look to acid free cardboard boxes.
Packing Your Boxes:
Did we say Clean & Dry – Now that you are ready to pack, ensure one more time that your items are clean and dry… 100% dry.
Use Desiccators – Just in case and to deal with any slight residual moisture, consider putting desiccants in your storage boxes. You can purchase small packs of desiccants from packing supplies stores. These little packs contain silica gel (or similar) crystals that absorb moisture. It’s important to remember though that desiccants usually expire. So, if you plan to use them arrange your storage unit so you can easily access the boxes with them and replace as called for by their expiration date. Finally, mark your boxes on the outside that have them.
Packing Your Storage Unit:
Allow for Airflow – When setting up your Blue Sky storage unit, arrange your boxes and other items in a way that allows for air to flow around them. That means leaving some room around the boxes and not pushing furniture right against the walls. While not completely necessary, if you have easy access to a wooden pallet, stack boxes on them as that helps air circulate even better.
Make Your Own Dehumidifier – A dehumidifier does not have to be a powered device that draws moisture out of the air via a fan. Rather you can put various materials in your storage unit that effectively absorb excess moisture. For example, a bucket or plastic container filled with dry, unused, untreated charcoal briquettes can do the trick. A bag of unscented, inexpensive clay kitty litter also works. Or, simply distribute open containers of baking soda around your unit. Like desiccants in boxes though, it is important to remember that these homemade dehumidifiers need to be changed about every six months or so.