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Basement Room Options in Northeast - opinions?


JasonT
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Hi everyone!

 

I enjoy reading everyone's posts showing their war rooms and displays. This has got me thinking about how to start displaying my own small collection.

 

I have a partially finished room in my basement that is around 175-200 sf. Its carpeted, painted walls and acoustic ceiling but is now just being used to dump crap before I force myself to make a trip to the dump or goodwill. Luckily, I have the blessing and encouragement of my wife to make the room into whatever I want. Its just a matter of cleaning it out.

 

The problem I have is that I live in the northeast and so it gets humid, hot and cold, depending on the time of year. The basement does not have AC or heat, with the exception of a space heater. When I first moved in a few years ago, I had a few non-militaria items such as gloves, hats and old shirts that got mold on them during the summer (anything that had dried sweat on it). Since then I have run a dehumidifier and have not had the problem since.

 

My question to the community is should I risk putting my collection down there? Or should I wait a few years until I can fund completely finish the space with HVAC? Will I be okay with just a dehumidifier in the muggy weather? Id like to know what other members in the region do in this situation as well.

 

Thanks! -Jason

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What is the average room temperature summer and winter without HVAC? You could get by with a humidfier and dehumidifier if the temp is right.

 

Here's some guidelines from one Northeast museum's website:

 

museum.jpg

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doinworkinvans

First of all - I didn't realize the NE had such problems with humidity! I thought it was only us southerners?!

 

From what you are describing - sounds like I would wait for sure.

 

Is there any way you could just ventilate it better? Sounds like it might just be closed up tight all the time??

 

Anyway to simply get some more/better airflow sounds like it might help a lot....instead of dropping 3k on HVAC

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What Bob said, plus this:

 

"...just being used to dump crap before I force myself to make a trip to the dump or goodwill."

 

- After that has been stored in there awhile, do you notice any mildew or other changes (e.g., from critters who bite on stuff)?

 

- If you do get a de-humidifier, make sure it is a really really quality one with lots of capacity directly related to the volume of that space. That air has got to be kept circulating and not too dry or wet.

 

- Ambient temperature has to be kept pretty stable, not too warm or cool and not constantly rapidly or radically changing.

 

- Is there ANY danger or past history of flooding down there?

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What is the average room temperature summer and winter without HVAC? You could get by with a humidfier and dehumidifier if the temp is right.

 

Here's some guidelines from one Northeast museum's website:

 

attachicon.gifmuseum.jpg

 

Bob, thanks for the museum info, that is very helpful. During the summer it's very comfortable - around 70-75 usually. During the winter I keep it above 35 at night during cold periods (to keep the pipes from freezing), but it's normally probably around 50-55.

 

 

First of all - I didn't realize the NE had such problems with humidity! I thought it was only us southerners?!

 

From what you are describing - sounds like I would wait for sure.

 

Is there any way you could just ventilate it better? Sounds like it might just be closed up tight all the time??

 

Anyway to simply get some more/better airflow sounds like it might help a lot....instead of dropping 3k on HVAC

 

It never gets real hot, just a lot of moisture on the muggy days. You are right, it's closed up all the time. The room has a walk out slider to a patio and small operable window but we live in a condo complex and I'd be worried about security leaving them open when I'm not down there.

 

What Bob said, plus this:

 

"...just being used to dump crap before I force myself to make a trip to the dump or goodwill."

 

- After that has been stored in there awhile, do you notice any mildew or other changes (e.g., from critters who bite on stuff)?

 

- If you do get a de-humidifier, make sure it is a really really quality one with lots of capacity directly related to the volume of that space. That air has got to be kept circulating and not too dry or wet.

 

- Ambient temperature has to be kept pretty stable, not too warm or cool and not constantly rapidly or radically changing.

 

- Is there ANY danger or past history of flooding down there?

 

Bluehawk, no never any mildew or mold since that first summer. No critters either, except for a random spider here and there. I think the dehumidifier I have now fills a gallon a day sometimes on the more humid summer days. The overall size of the basement is only about 500 sf, so it's not a huge amount of volume to dry out. As for flooding, the place has no sign of flood damage form before I moved there and since then we've had Hurricane's Sandy and Irene and not a drop of water.

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