Condensation Myths and Truths

Condensation is a question frequently brought up by potential customers and is really quite a tricky one to tackle. This is because most people have absolutely no problem at all, some people a small problem and some people have a big problem.

In our experience condensation and any attendant mould formation is in the normal course of events only an issue for long term storers. There are of course exceptions when what is being stored has to be considered. We would consider six months or more long term storage. Condensation can be an issue especially during the winter months due to the wide temperature variations.

All the storage units at Whiteball Self Store are insulated with layers of PU foam which greatly mitigate the possibility of condensation but there are also ways that you can help protect your property.

The unit will be dry when you put your goods into storage so where does the moisture that forms condensation come from?

Our household effects hold a lot more moisture than we think. Some houses more than others, an obviously damp house more so again.

During the wide temperature changes of winter months any moisture in your household effects will evaporate into the air within the unit on warm days. When the temperature lowers again, the moisture will settle out onto the coldest surfaces particularly metal. Households, with day to day movement of air and central heating, normally see little or no effect from this moisture dispersion but this can become an issue in a relatively sealed space when there is no way for the moisture to escape.

Here we should also touch on the lack of air movement within a unit. If you have ever stored clothes in a suitcase for long periods of time you may have noticed that they can begin to smell musty. One can get a similar reaction particularly in an older house where a room is very seldom used and kept shut. A unit can be akin to a large suitcase in this matter.

Moisture attracts mould. This can grow on organic surfaces and make fabrics smell musty. After long periods of storage the chances of visible signs of mould or moisture increase and you should be prepared for this.

Steps to help protect from condensation

1. We offer a dehumidification service. This will help reduce the available moisture in your goods.

2. Store your clothes in vac bags available from shops such as Argos.

3. We recommend the use of plastic storage boxes (Supermarkets often stock these) where you can. After careful deliberation if you are planning to store for any length of time we no longer recommend the use of cardboard boxes as they will attract moisture over time. For short term use they are acceptable.

4. If you are planning to store for a long period, keep soft furnishings and all other items that could suffer from condensate effects from touching dense objects particularly metal and the walls of the unit. In the back 1.5m – 2m of the unit place your goods that have legs. We do not recommend polythene mattress covers as they can trap any moisture from your mattress within it.

5. Storing garden furniture or garden shed contents within the unit will exacerbate any potential moisture issues as these items almost always contain significant amounts of hidden moisture. It always helps to find a friend who can story your garden furniture and implements in their garden during your move.

6. Ensure your white goods are thoroughly dried before you put them into store.

7. If the day you move in it is raining please ask for dehumidification.

8. Check your unit on a regular basis and please ask for dehumidification if necessary.

We would never recommend storing your goods for any length of time in bare steel units or units with low quality insulation.

One last point:

If you are planning long term storage think very carefully what you plan to store and how you plan to store your goods. Storage in insulated steel units is a great value way to store your goods compared to the individual units in buildings. Our prices are frequently less than half the price of individual units in buildings. You need to way up the pros and cons of both types of storage for your needs.

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