Top Tips for Preventing Mold and Moisture in Storage Units
How to Prevent Mold and Moisture in Storage Units
Mold is found everywhere and is a common yet preventable problem in self-storage units. If the humidity level in closed spaces reaches above 50 percent, mold can start to grow within a day or two, affecting the walls, roofs, pipes, and floors. It can also thrive in paints, drywall, fabric, and even dust.
That said, storage units and anything in it can become vulnerable to mold and other similar problems like mildew, rust, and corrosion. However, there should be no cause for alarm. This article outlines the best precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your belongings while in storage.
Protect your valuables properly
To protect your things from mold and condensation, the first thing you must do is to keep them off the floor. Don't forget to wrap or warp them using the right packing materials. Put shelves or use wooden pallets to elevate your valuables. When using shelves, place them away from the walls to allow airflow. You can also use plastic bins to store your items and then cover everything with a tarp to prevent moisture from settling onto surfaces.
Stored items should be clean and dry
Whether it's the old dresser from your grandmother, the luggage bags from your trip around the world, or maybe you're in the process of renovating your place, you are going to need a good storage solution for your items. Before packing them away, ensure that they are 100% clean and dry. Never store anything that is damp.
If you need to double-check, do so to confirm that your belongings are free from any moisture or dampness.
Keep the humidity low
One of the things to look out for when renting a storage unit is of course the humidity level. While climate-controlled storage facilities are the best option, a non-insulated building can still do the job if you check your unit regularly. Keep in mind that the humidity level for enclosed space should never exceed 50 percent.
You can hire a professional to check the humidity level for you or you may also do it on your own by installing a humidity gauze inside the unit. If the humidity is below 50%, then you're good. If it's more than the recommended limit, then you can address the issue by doing a thorough inspection of your unit. Check if there are leaks and if there are signs of mold, and then fix it accordingly.
Allow proper ventilation
One important thing to consider when checking for self-storage options is airflow. While you can't necessarily increase the ventilation in the unit, you can always improve the airflow to significantly prevent moisture issues.
When deciding on a unit, choose a size that's large enough so your things won't crowd the space. Make sure to leave some room between your stored items for air to move around freely and for moisture, if there's any, to dry up quickly.
A few more things:
Have a vapor barrier installed. Damp-proof your storage unit by installing a flexible membrane of foil coating or polyethylene plastic beneath the floor and on the side where it is warm to block moisture from leaking and getting in.
Make your own desiccant packs or drying agents. For this, you would need some fabric and silica crystals. Create a pocket using the fabric then fill it with silica gel. Afterward, sew the pocket together to keep it closed. Once done, hang those homemade desiccant bags inside your unit. But do make sure to check them from time to time as the crystals need to be regenerated to stay effective.
If you're into something eco-friendly, then you should go for charcoal briquettes. This natural alternative is super effective in keeping moisture and musty odors away. Like the silica gel, you should also make pockets for your charcoal before putting them all together in a basket or metal tray. Since charcoal can leave a stain or mark, just be careful with the placement. To keep your storage unit smelling nice, make sure to replace these charcoal briquettes at least every two months.
Self-storage is your best bet in keeping your valuables safe and protected. Are you looking for storage units in San Bruno? Our facility managers will be happy to talk to you so you can come up with the best option for your needs. Dial 800 789 STOR to get started!