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Humidity questions


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#1 avigo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 05:31 AM

Hey guys.

So I live in NC where it is oppressively humid during the summer. It's really hard to keep up with humidity and keep it at a reasonable percent.

In my home I run a dehumidifier and try to keep relative humidity at or below 55% at all times.

 

However, I keep quite a bit of collectibles and furniture in a "climate controlled" storage unit.

 

I keep a hygrometer in there and the past week it has been hovering between 65 and 70%. The temp there is cool (around 68 degrees).

The humidity outside the past week or so has been around 90/95% so it won't always be this humid.

 

I'm not sure if it's an issue with their hvac or what. It's basically a brand new building.

 

 

How much sleep should I lose over this? 
Should I move to a different storage facility?

 

I store everything from clothing, books, field gear, etc. in there.

 

I also do keep damprid dehumidifiers there and put silica packs in any bins or bags.

 

I haven't noticed any damage or anything yet, just don't want it to get to that point.

Thanks!


Edited by avigo, 12 June 2019 - 05:32 AM.


#2 skautdog

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 05:43 AM

I'd check with the storage facility owners and ask what they might do to lower the humidity. Perhaps they would let you install a dehumidifier in the unit. Short term the humidity won't be a problem, but as you know over time it will lead to mold, damp items and ruined collections.

 

I share your humidity pain as I live in GA with the same humidity issues. I store most of my items in an unfinished basement and run two dehumidifiers year round. I have them setup to automatically drain outside. In my gun safe  I keep a heat stick on all the time.

 

Ken



#3 avigo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:56 AM

I'd check with the storage facility owners and ask what they might do to lower the humidity. Perhaps they would let you install a dehumidifier in the unit. Short term the humidity won't be a problem, but as you know over time it will lead to mold, damp items and ruined collections.

 

I share your humidity pain as I live in GA with the same humidity issues. I store most of my items in an unfinished basement and run two dehumidifiers year round. I have them setup to automatically drain outside. In my gun safe  I keep a heat stick on all the time.

 

Ken

 

Thanks Ken!

Unfortunately I talked with the facility and they checked the whole building and said it was within their normal range. Might just be underestimating the humidity down here, or overestimating what "climate controlled" means. I'm pretty ocd when it comes to humidity.

 

What would "short term" for humidity and its effects mean? A couple days, couple weeks, couple months?

Just curious if I should rush and get everything out of there (I have two large units so it's quite an undertaking)

 

For now. I'm moving my most important things to my house that is more controlled.



#4 917601

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:58 AM

Packaging is everything. Do not depend on a storage unit to monItor climate. Airtight sealed containers the way to go. Larger bins should have desiccant bags inside them. Large food grade airtight plastic buckets are fairly cheap, ( Home Depot has some) as are renewable silica desiccant bags. I keep powder and primers in airtight buckets, five gallon ones have a lot of room as opposed to ammo cans.image.jpeg

#5 917601

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:00 AM

Rule of thumb for valuables, gold, artifacts, collectibles, etc.....forget insurance, spend 10 percent on security, storage, etc.....More.image.jpeg

#6 917601

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for the post, it prompted me to open and check quite a few sealed buckets,.....Christmas.....I found AP, API, bullets, primers, a 20 lb container of WC 846 powder,...image.jpeg

#7 jmd62

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:21 AM

Great information and I like the idea of using large airtight containers with desiccant packs. Even though I'm close to the beach, I rarely run into high humidity for extended periods of time, but I do run into the opposite problem, low humidity. We have these spells where our humidity drops into the single digits to low teens. For most of my collectibles that's fine, but I have some leather items that could be at risk of drying out too much. When I see those conditions in the forecast, I place them in large airtight storage bags ahead of time. Sort of the same solution in a way. 



#8 avigo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:25 AM

When you guys say "airtight" do you mean like a brute tote, or an actual water/air tight container? Thanks!



#9 avigo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:26 AM

Rule of thumb for valuables, gold, artifacts, collectibles, etc.....forget insurance, spend 10 percent on security, storage, etc.....More.attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

 

Where did you get those large desiccant packs? I can only find small ones.
Thanks!



#10 avigo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:28 AM

The buckets are a good idea, but what do you do for larger items like furniture or things like paper/books? Any recommendations for other air tight containers?



#11 avigo

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:00 PM

Would vacuum sealed bags or like the jumbo ziplock with desiccant work?



#12 JasonT

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:24 PM

Avigo, I had a similar post a few years ago because I also keep items in a partially finished basement. Like you I keep a dehumidifier in their full time and keep the room temp from freezing in the winter. Another forum member posted some guidelines he found on a museum website and they recommended 45-55% RH. I wouldnt think going a little higher for a very short period of time would be a problem, but I would be nervous about it being a high % for a week or more. Plus with your stuff being in a storage unit you can't monitor it as closely as being in your home.

#13 avigo

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:07 PM

Avigo, I had a similar post a few years ago because I also keep items in a partially finished basement. Like you I keep a dehumidifier in their full time and keep the room temp from freezing in the winter. Another forum member posted some guidelines he found on a museum website and they recommended 45-55% RH. I wouldnt think going a little higher for a very short period of time would be a problem, but I would be nervous about it being a high % for a week or more. Plus with your stuff being in a storage unit you can't monitor it as closely as being in your home.

 

Thanks so much!

There are definitely two camps. I have some people who have told me never let the humidity get over 45% or the temperate over 72 degrees, and then others who are basically telling me that most of these objects have survived for decades, sometimes over 100 years, in a barn or garage or military base with no care at all for humidity. 

So I think I Just need to find a balance.

 

I think moving forward I am just going to keep my most important pieces where I live, and less important things can stay in the storage unit.



#14 JasonT

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:09 PM

Here's a link to that topic with some of the feedback I got. Granted I'm located in the northeast but it could still apply.

http://www.usmilitar...heast-opinions/

I've both sides of the argument as well and both make valid points. A lot depends I think on what you have - a lot of rare paper items, then yes, it needs to be taken more seriously. However, if it's mostly field gear then it should be okay. Just keep a regular eye on things and if you notice anything at all then take further action. A regular dehumidifier sized properly for the room should do the trick for most circumstances.

Let's be honest, most of our collections will probably not survive another 100+ years and will become the victims of accidents, disasters, getting thrown out, etc... enjoy it all the best you can. There's no fun in the hobby if someone is too worried all the time or feels they may have to have stuff frozen in time and stashed away where you cant touch it, view it and enjoy it.


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