One of the many issues you could face while keeping your belongings in self-storage is excess moisture. An overabundance of moisture can lead to more than your belongings getting wet. It can also create the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth, which could ruin your clothes, documents and other valuables. If you want to keep mold from taking hold of your storage unit, then check out these preventative tips.
Never Store Wet or Damp Belongings
Anytime you place your belongings in storage, you want to make sure that those items are completely dry. This includes items that are regularly submerged or otherwise exposed to water, such as bathing suits and other swimming gear. Throwing damp items into storage can raise the unit's relative humidity, making it more likely for mold and mildew to flourish.
Store Your Belongings on Pallets
Storing your items directly on a concrete floor could create condensation due to temperature differences between your items and the cold concrete. In turn, this can encourage mold and mildew to take hold. In addition, your belongings may also be at risk of getting drenched in the event of a minor water leak or a major flood. For these reasons, you'll want to keep your belongings off the floor using wooden or plastic pallets.
Another advantage of having your items stored on pallets is that you can use a sturdy pallet jack to move your items around. This can help tremendously if you have a lot of stuff to move or rearrange. Once you've cleared out your storage unit, you can always have your pallets recycled so they can be reused or reformed into other materials.
Use Vacuum-Sealed Bags
Storing your belongings in plastic bags may not seem like such a big deal, but the practice could actually be contributing to your moisture woes. As it turns out, bagging up your belongings also draws in and traps moisture-laden air inside. If condensation happens to form inside of the bag, your belongings could be at risk of being ruined by mold and mildew.
If you intend on storing your items in plastic bags, then you should make sure those bags can be vacuum sealed. By removing all of the air from the bag, you won't have to worry about the problems that condensing water vapor can cause. If you plan on vacuum sealing your belongings, it's usually a good idea to stick to soft and flexible items like jewelry, clothes and bedding.
Use Sorbents to Control Moisture
Another way to control moisture in your storage unit involves using natural and synthetic sorbents. Sorbents are designed to absorb and retain excess moisture from the surrounding air, thereby reducing the amount of moisture lingering in your storage unit. There are several types of sorbents you can use to help control excess moisture:
- Silica gel is a commonly used sorbent that capable of absorbing as much as 40 percent of its own weight in moisture. Another advantage that silica gel has over other types of sorbents is that it can be reactivated simply by being dried out inside of an oven for a short period of time.
- You can also use clay cat litter to control excess moisture within your storage unit. Not only is a relatively affordable, but a single bag of clay cat litter can remain effective at controlling moisture for several weeks.
- Charcoal is another affordable sorbent you can use to help control excess moisture. In many cases, it's cheaper than buying silica gel or clay cat litter. Just be sure to avoid purchasing pre-soaked charcoal briquettes, since these won't work to absorb excess moisture.
These tips can help save you plenty of trouble when it comes to keeping your belongings in self-storage. Contact a company like Tysons Self Storage for more tips.