How to Safely Store Items in Your Basement

Cardboard boxes aren't a great option for basement storage, because they can hold moisture.

Cardboard boxes aren’t a great option for basement storage, because they can hold moisture.

For most homeowners, the basement area of their home provides a large area for storage. It can be a great option for keeping everything from holiday decorations and rarely used possessions to seasonal sports equipment and occasional items like luggage. That being said, most basements are prone to some moisture – especially if they haven’t been properly waterproofed. And basement dampness opens the door for a whole host of other unpleasant issues, like mold, mildew and bacteria growth, and pest infestation.

Those factors can negatively affect – and even ruin – your stored items, so you’ll want to make sure you take every possible step to prevent them. The Do It Yourself website offers some tips on how you can store items safely in your basement and keep them free from the harmful effects of mold, mildew, bacteria and pests.

  • Storage Shelf and Container Materials: Wood crates and shelving, as well as cardboard boxes, are not ideal when it comes to basement storage. Why? They are extremely moisture-absorbent, and that can cause your stored items unwanted exposure to dampness. For your basement, it’s better to choose metal shelving and plastic, lidded bins. Paint metal shelves with a rust-inhibiting paint for even more protection.
  • Adequate Air Supply: Air circulation is important in your basement, and especially around your stored items. The better the air circulation, the more likely it is your stored belongings will stay mold and mildew free. Also, if you’re storing clothing, make sure you’ve cleaned them thoroughly. Dirty clothing can grow bacteria and attract pests.
  • Keep Tabs on Stored Items: Check on your belongings to make sure they’re secure, especially if you only use them once in a great while. On a sunny, breezy day, you might want to consider putting them outside to air out for a bit.
  • Take Steps to Stamp Out Excess Moisture: Make sure your basement is well-ventilated by opening basement windows. Letting in fresh air and sunlight will do your basement good! Also, make sure pipes are insulated, so you don’t get excess condensation, and outside be sure gutters and downspouts are free of dirt and debris, so the water easily flows away from your home.
  • Consider Calling in the Pros: If your basement moisture problem isn’t going away or if you notice mold and mildew growth, it may be time to call in the professionals. An expert, like Basement Waterproofing, Inc., should handle cracks in your basement floors or walls. When you call us, we’ll give you a full assessment of your basement, and help you make the right choice for moisture prevention. Sometimes, the solution can be as simple as installing a dehumidifier.

Following these tips can help your stored goods stay in tip-top shape, and can keep your basement a dry, comfortable, usable space. If you need help with your basement moisture problems, don’t hesitate to call BWI. We have more than 30 years of experience helping people keep their basements dry. For your convenience, we’re fully staffed during normal working hours to answer your calls – call us at (800) 439-4951, and we’ll be glad to help.

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