The impact of temperature and humidity on storage

Nowadays, people are using storage services more than ever. That’s why it’s important to understand the impact of temperature and humidity on storage.  We at Master Moving Guide would like to talk about this topic and help you out by discussing how temperature impacts storage. Then we’ll see what is humidity, how it can impact your stored items, and how climate controlled storage units can help you prevent damage to your belongings. Let’s start storing our knowledge because we’ll need it in the long run.

Let’s first understand what are temperature is and how it impacts storage

Most people know that temperature affects any objects (materials, food, people, etc.). What they don’t know is that is happening on a chemical level. The greater the temperature is the greater the natural decay is.  To put it in simple terms, things will fall apart faster. That usually happens when the temperature reaches over 75 °F. Below 54 °F decay slows down. Also, certain materials like paints, rubbers, and plastics can become brittle during temperature oscillations. Therefore, when you are choosing a storage facility in which you will keep your items, you should be careful and check the company that offers that storage service thoroughly and ensure that they are providing optimal conditions for safekeeping of your belongings. The fastest way to do this is online by reading reviews.  Now let’s get back and see the optimum temperatures for certain materials (objects) in storage.

  • For paper, the optimum temperature is 35-65 °F
  • The optimum temperature for metal is from 50-70 °F
  • For textiles, paintings, and wood it’s from 65-70 °F
  • Plastics and rubbers are fine between 35-65 °F
  • Ceramisc and other pottery 60-70 °F
A device showing the impact of temperature and humidity on storage;
The impact of temperature and humidity on storage is usually negative

If the temperate in the storage is above 68 it’ll damage see most items. So most storage tips, when it comes to temperature, say that you should keep the temperature in your storage unit in this “optimal range”. Luckily, nowadays, power outages are rare because our power grid is stable, and we can expect that most of the time temperatures are in the optimal range.

Now what about humidity and its impact on a storage

On the other hand, humidity, commonly known as relative humidity (RH%), is expressed using percentage. You can hear this every day during weather broadcasts or you can see it in your weather apps. If some of you slept during science class back in elementary school humidity is water vapor present in the air. Unlike temperature, humidity is mechanically affecting objects. Objects swell or shrink in the presence or absence of moisture thus damaging materials mechanically. When it comes to safe ranges for humidity, it’s usually between 30 and 50% RH. Now, most items can’t withstand RH below 25% or above 65% RH. But there are even some cheap storage units that can maintain optimal humidity and temperature at the fraction of the cost; you just have to know where to look.

A mirror full of rain drops;
Humidity is the biggest threat to the stability of storage

Effect the humidity has on different materials

For example, if you have any old films or photos, or paper objects of any kind, they can withstand RH between 30 and 50%. When it comes to plastic, it varies widely depending on the type of plastic since there are 7 different types of plastic. But the general rule is that the RH should be below 65%. For the most part, humidity is dangerous for paper and wood (optimal RH for paintings and wood should be between 45 and 55%). Low humidity will cause wood and paper to crack. but, on the other hand, high humidity will cause metals to corrode and wood to swell. Colors on paintings will bleed while adhesives such as glue will soften. Finally, if this happens for an extended period of time (both high and low humidity) it’ll cause these materials to deform thus making them unstable and unusable for the most part.

So which storage should I rent then?

As you can see, there are different types of storage. There are climate control storages, residential, commercial, vehicle, hazardous, archive, wine, and portable storages. But for the most part, people use climate controlled solutions. They’re easy to use, reliable, and they’re great because you can set the right conditions for materials that you want to store. The impact of temperature and humidity is worse if there is no control at all. First of all, during summer, if you rent storage with no climate control things can melt and it’s going to get moldy. Secondly, during the winter, when everything freezes, you’re going to be in big trouble once spring comes.

Radio and other items in an abandoned storage;
If you can, rent a climate controlled storage unit

This is becoming a problem for both users and companies that provide storage. But let’s get it straight, if you want a premium product, you’ve got to pay the full price. You can’t buy an LV bag for $100 and call it original, or you can’t buy a new iPhone for $300, it’s simply impossible. So if you want storage where you won’t have to worry and forget that you even have it it’s climate controlled one. Other types will be prone to the negative impact of temperature and humidity.

Final thoughts on the impact of temperature and humidity on storage

Whether you’re moving or not, you’ll probably need storage sometimes as we Americans are prone to collecting a lot of unnecessary items. Thus if you need storage think about climate controlled options since they are the safest. Also, that is where the overall impact of temperature and humidity on storage is the lowest. This is also better for the environment because you’ll throw away fewer things, so think about the planet too.

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