If you want to make sure that your most beloved belongings are kept in great shape while you move, rearrange your home, or deal with extensive remodeling, then it is wise to rent a storage space. Not only will the space keep your things out of the way, but it will help to keep them from becoming damaged or dirty.
While you have the option of securing your items in the storage space and forgetting about them, you may not want to do this if you have concerns about things like musty smells developing. You can combat these smells in your self storage system with the following tips.
Keep Moisture Controlled
Many musty odors form on your clothes and other organic and porous belongings when mold and mildew start to develop. Mildew is a common nuisance that you may need to deal with, because the conditions are often optimal for fungi formation: organic material (food or grease stains on a piece of clothing, a book with exposed paper, or a couch made from a natural material like leather), oxygen, and water.
Water is almost always present to some degree in a self storage space. Small holes or openings along the exterior walls can allow moisture into the space, and humidity will build inside. Condensation can also form on both the interior and exterior walls of the storage unit due to the fluctuation of temperatures.
Moisture Control Methods
You can keep mildew from forming and causing odors by eliminating one of the essential elements that allow fungi to form. Oxygen cannot be eliminated, and you probably do not want to remove all of the organic materials from the space. This means keeping water out of the unit.
Use rags to clear water from the storage space and then place a battery-operated dehumidifier in the unit for a full day. If possible, replace this device with a wireless model that uses silica gel or moisture absorbing crystals to retain a dry environment in the space.
You also should think about adding a vapor barrier to the space. This type of barrier helps to keep water from entering the unit. You can create a barrier by lining the walls with either plastic sheeting or an aluminum waterproofing membrane. Keep in mind that it will only be effective if it encloses the space entirely. This means using either tape or staples along edges to close off seams properly.
Add Cedar to the Space
Many odors are caused by moisture, but they also build when air remains stagnant inside the storage unit. This stagnant air will build with foul odors and these odors will transfer to your items when new and clean air is not allowed in the unit. This occurs, because odor molecules will spread out or dissipate throughout the air. Specifically, the molecules that make up the odor will move from an area of higher concentration to a space of lower concentration. Odors becomes undetectable fairly quickly in a large space, but it cannot dissipate or spread out much in a smaller area like a storage unit.
Your belongings may hold food, pet dander, pet stains, mold, dust, or other materials that release odors over time. To control these odors and to also keep them from spreading, consider adding some cedar to the unit. Cedar has its own strong and pleasant smell due to the natural oils contained in the wood. The smell will release as the oils evaporate and overwhelm other odors. The wood will also absorb some of the odor-causing moisture in the space. Place wood chips in your boxes and bins, or consider adding cedar planks to the unit instead.