Storing Items the Smart Way

Three Tips To Prevent Mildew In Your Storage Unit

by Timmothy Pena

Moisture is a major problem when you are storing anything. In a well maintained storage unit, the main causes of moisture will be from moisture you bring in or moisture from the humidity in the air. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help cut down on moisture issues.

Tip #1: Only store completely dry items

This may seem like common sense, but moisture has a way of sneaking into a storage unit and causing mildew. For example, if you store anything that is normally exposed to moisture, such as boating equipment or lawn furniture, condensation could be hiding on or within the items. Leave them in a sunny place with good air circulation before storing. The same goes for any newly washed clothing or linens. They may feel dry but still have some moisture inside them, which will condensate inside a closed container. Leaving them out, preferably on hangers, allows any residual moisture to dissipate before storage.

Tip #2: Choose the right containers

If humidity is a problem, then you need to keep moisture out of your stored containers. A plastic container with a tight-fitting lid is the best option for excluding moisture from smaller items. An alternative is to pack items in a heavy duty garbage bag, then place the bags in a cardboard box. For furniture items, particularly things like mattresses that can absorb a lot of humidity, special furniture bags are the key. These bags have one-way ventilation holes. This allows the furniture to "breathe," which means moisture can escape from the bag but it can't get back in.

Tip #3: Invest in silica crystals

Most people know silica crystals as the small packs stuck in a new pair of shoes or the pocket of a new jacket. You can actually purchase these crystals in bulk from craft stores and florists. These can be a lifesaver when you are storing items in a humid climate. When you seal a storage container, no matter how waterproof, any moisture in the air gets trapped inside. You can make up packets of silica crystals to place in the containers when you first pack them up. These absorb the residual moisture so that your stored items don't develop any mildew or mold. Just make sure to check on them periodically and replace any that have reached their saturation limit.

For more help, contact a storage facility like Pelahatchie Bay Mini Storage in your area.