In much of the United States, humidity is pervasive, especially in summer. Hot, sticky weather is exhausting to people, and it’s not great for your belongings, either. When our belongings get damp, they can grow moldy in self storage. Humidity can damage wooden furniture, musical instruments, books, art, electronics and other items.
Here are our four best tips for safely storing your belongings in a storage unit in a humid climate.
Get a Unit with Climate Control
Instead of a standard, drive-up storage unit, get a unit with climate control.
Don’t expect a climate controlled unit to feel like an air conditioned home or car. The temperature in such a unit will vary between 60 and 80 degrees, depending on the time of year, and the humidity will be kept around 50 percent. These are ideal conditions for the majority of personal possessions.
Depending on where you live, climate control may cost more, but it’s worth it. If you take only one step toward protecting your stored items from the humidity, do this one.
Put Most of Your Things in Plastic Bins
Plastic, airtight bins offer an extra layer of protection against humidity and are ideal for a variety of belongings, from toys to electronics.
There are, however, a couple of caveats. First, make sure that anything you’ve put in a plastic bin is totally dry before you put it in storage. If you’ve washed items before storing them, ensure they are free of moisture. You want to keep humidity out, not trap moisture inside. Second, check out our various articles on how to store specific items. Some belongings need to breathe and are better stored in good-quality cardboard boxes. As long as you have a climate controlled unit, they should be fine.
Use Silica Gel Desiccants
Have you noticed those little packets in the boxes of certain items? The ones that feel like they’re filled with tiny beads? These are silica gel desiccants, and they absorb moisture in boxes.
You can include one or two in your cardboard boxes and plastic bins. Should any excess moisture creep in, they will help by absorbing at least some of it.
Check Back Periodically
Perhaps you access your storage unit often because you keep products for your small business there, you keep your bike there, or for another reason. Or, perhaps you plan to use your storage unit for six months to a year, until you move to a bigger place, and you don’t plan to go back at all during that time.
Whatever the case, we encourage you to stop by your unit about once a month. If you have climate control, and especially if you’ve followed the other tips as well, your belongings should be all right, but it doesn’t hurt to check to ensure all is working as it should. If there are problems, talk to someone who works at the facility to help determine what’s happening.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to keep your belongings safe from humidity in storage. Now you can effectively protect your valuables from mold, moisture, and more.