If you want to place a wider variety of your important personal belongings in a storage space, then you do need to worry about moisture. Most storage facilities are created so they are as sealed as possible. However, the units are typically constructed out of steel walls and concrete floors. The steel walls conduct heat from the sun during the day, and they cool off drastically at night. The cooling process forces condensation to form inside your unit. While homeowners will often build vents on the tops of sheds and other storage spaces they own, you cannot do this if you are renting a storage space. This means that you need to deal with the moisture in another way, or you may end up with mold and mildew on your items.
Invest in Commercial Moisture Reducing Products
There are a wide variety of commercial products on the market that are designed to pull the moisture out of a confined space like a storage space. These products likely contain activated alumina, sodium chloride, and calcium chloride. If you are like most consumers, then you may be a bit leery of placing chemicals in your storage space with important items. However, these materials are quite safe.
Commercial Desiccant Options
Activated aluminum is an aluminum oxide compound that is typically found in filters that remove hazardous substances like arsenic and heavy metals from drinking water. The aluminum can also remove moisture and act like a desiccant when the highly porous material is formed into balls or beads.
Sodium chloride is commonly called table salt, and as you know, this substance is safe for both human and animal consumption. Salt also absorbs water quite well, and it can be used as a desiccant in a storage space. Salt is likely to be one of the least effective moisture reducing compounds you can buy, but it is by far the safest material you can place in the storage space if you are concerned about your children or pets getting into it.
Calcium chloride is a flaky white material that is very porous like aluminum oxide. This material is typically sold as an almost instant ice melting compound that can be used on roofs and driveways during the winter months. Calcium chloride is probably your best option if you need to remove moisture as quickly as possible from your storage area. However, you should be aware that the calcium material quickly dissolves as it absorbs water. This may mean that you will need a large amount of the material and it will need to be replaced often. In fact, most commercial desiccants need to be replaced every few days or weeks depending on the moisture within the storage space. For easy replacement, place the material you choose in one or several small plastic containers.
Use Charcoal Briquettes
If you do not want to spend a lot of money on commercial products that need to be replaced often, or if the storage space does not contain a great deal of water, then think about placing a bucket filled with charcoal briquettes in each corner of the storage space. If you have ever grilled with charcoal briquettes and read the packaging, then you will notice that you are supposed to store them in a dry space. This is the case because the charcoal will actively absorb water from the ambient air. It also can absorb odors, so charcoal is a great solution if the storage space is a bit musty.
Typically, a piece of charcoal will absorb water to the point that the general moisture content will rise from about 1% to 10%. When this happens, the charcoal will become brittle, so test the charcoal in your buckets every two to four weeks to see if it can be easily crunched with your hand. If so, then replace the briquettes at this time.
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