If you are going to be renting a storage unit to house your belongings, you will want to take steps to make sure the space is dry inside. Moisture can cause mold, mildew and rust to occur on belongings, possibly ruining them as a result. Here are some steps you can take when placing your items inside a storage unit so they are not at risk of becoming wet and how you can keep your unit's atmosphere at a minimal moisture level.
Preparing The Unit
Before you put anything in your storage unit, do a test to see if the seal around the door is adequately keeping moisture from getting inside. Bring along a bottle of water and pour it out in front of the storage unit when the door is shut. Place it as close to the seal as possible. Open the door and see if there is a path of water that had gotten inside or if it is pooled up in front of the unit. If water had made its way inside, ask to rent a different unit.
Most storage units will have a concrete floor. Items placed directly on concrete are more prone at becoming damaged if humidity levels rise within the unit. Place some pallets in your unit to raise vulnerable items made from wood or paper. Avoid cardboard boxes altogether and opt for plastic storage bins instead.
To lower humidity levels inside a storage unit, place a few bowls full of charcoal briquettes inside. Put one in each corner and a few on top of shelves to help keep moisture at bay. Charcoal will naturally trap moisture. Cat litter and cedar are two other options that will draw moisture out of the air. Some people opt for wood blocks of cedar as they minimize moisture and leave a pleasing scent.
Preparing Your Belongings
When you get your belongings ready for storage, you will want to make sure they are all completely dry before putting them inside. Even a bit of moisture can lead to elevated humidity levels within an enclosed space. If you are storing any water equipment such as fishing poles, life vests, or scuba gear, leave them out in the sun for several hours before placing them in your unit so any moisture will evaporate. Dry any clothing you will be storing for several minutes on high temperature before folding and putting in an air-tight bin.
When storing furniture, avoid using plastic to wrap the pieces, as any moisture that may become trapped between the plastic and the wood will cause worse damage than if the wood pieces were left out without a covering. Instead of plastic, use furniture covers.