When you are searching for a storage unit, you may come across the phrase “humidity-controlled storage”. Like most people, you want to make your storage rental decision based on what you are storing and your item’s needs. However, it can be hard to make an informed decision when you don’t know all the terms or types of storage there is available.
So what is humidity-controlled storage? Humidity-controlled storage is a type of storage where the humidity is managed. The storage units will adjust the inside humidity to maintain a safe level of moisture. Generally, the humidity levels are kept around 55% humidity. However, this varies per facility. Humidity-controlled storage creates a perfect place for storing many types of items.
While most stored items can benefit from humidity-controlled storage, certain items need to be stored in humidity-controlled storage to prevent damage. Especially items that may mold, mildew, rust, or rot. These items include:
Clothing: Clothing can grow mold or mildew when stored in humid places. Always make sure your clothing is cleaned and packaged correctly before putting it into storage long-term.
Upholstered furniture: Wood furniture can grow mold or wood rot in fluctuating humidity. The fabric on furniture can also grow mold or mildew. Make sure your furniture is cleaned and polished before storing to avoid any damage.
Instruments: Instruments, including woodwind instruments, do not do well in climates that change humidity. The wood can rot, split, or mold. Like wood furniture, ensure your instruments are cleaned and polished before long-term storage to prevent damage.
Fabrics: Similar to clothing, storing fabrics with no humidity control can cause mold or mildew to grow. Fabrics should be cleaned and stored in a safe container or package before putting into long term storage.
Metals: Most types of metals will react to moisture. Copper turns green, Iron rusts, Lead turns into a white powder, and Silver will turn black when exposed to humid environments. It’s important to store any type of metal in a humidity-controlled environment to prevent damage. When storing a metal item in your storage unit, keep it off the floor to avoid any liquid from getting to it.
Wine: Wine is very particular in the way it can be stored. High humidity can cause the wine to age too fast. This will give it a cloudy and brown appearance. Low humidity can cause the cork to dry out and crumble. This often makes the wine contaminated and undrinkable. Before storing wine in a storage unit, always make sure it is allowed in the lease. Some facilities do not allow the storage of food or beverages.
Paper items: Paper items such as important documents (think deeds, titles, passports, banking information, etc.) and delicate items (such as books, artwork, magazines, photos, scrapbooks, etc.) need to be in a humidity-controlled environment. Humidity can cause damage to these items, yellowing of paper, or shrinkage. Always make sure your paper items are stored properly and securely to avoid any damage.
Electronics: One of the most commonly stored items, electronics are also one of the quickest to damage in humidity. Not only items such as computers, TVs, cameras, speakers, or tablets need to be stored in humidity-controlled storage. But, electronic related items such as vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and video games need to be stored in a humidity-controlled environment as well. When stored improperly, these items can corrode and grow mold or mildew. To be extra safe, always store these items off the ground, and as high as possible.