How to Avoid Mold & Mildew in Your Storage Unit: 6 Tips

by Dusty Rhodes on Feb 19, 2016  in 
  • Storage Tips
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Updated on 7/31/23

6 Tips for Avoiding Mold in a Storage Unit

Storage units can make your life a lot easier in helping to declutter your home or office. Seeing items scattered everywhere can be stressful, and you can avoid this by getting a storage unit for seasonal items you don't need yet or items you've yet to throw away. One problem that might come up with using them, however, is the growth of mold and mildew. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent mold growth and damage to your belongings.

While having a climate-controlled storage unit can prevent mold growth, it may not be enough. Below are some helpful tips to ensure your storage unit stays dry, so you can avoid mold damage.

1. Choose the Right Type of Unit 

Ventilation is important because it can help control the humidity level in your storage unit. Mold spores tend to grow where there are high humidity or moisture levels. Choosing cardboard boxes that are breathable, such as SMARTBOX units, can help with this. These types of units can help prevent condensation and mold growth because they allow air to circulate within the unit. 

2. Check the Unit Prior to Moving Items In

Before storing items in the boxes or in the storage unit, we suggest checking the area first. Make sure it's clean and completely dry. Never store your items in a damp area, or mold can grow within 24-48 hours. You can avoid damage to your items when the area is dry and there are no issues with mold. 

We also suggest you regularly inspect your storage units to ensure they're still in good condition. Do periodic inspections especially when you have items that may damage other units, such as liquids. Sealing your items properly can avoid leaks, but inspections are still important to avoid irregularities.  

Additionally, it's a good idea to check on your unit when it's in a flood-prone area. Leaks should be resolved quickly, as they can damage your belongings and encourage mold to grow. If you've discovered signs of mold or your unit has a musty odor, seek out a professional inspection. An experienced professional should be able to help you eliminate the source of the problem and protect your valuable belongings.

3. Eliminate Moisture

Eliminating moisture buildup in your storage units can prevent mold growth. You can damp-proof and prevent mold in storage unit by storing some of your items in a metal or plastic container. Vulnerable items include wood furniture and other paper products; make sure these materials are properly packaged to prevent moisture. 

4. Seal Your Items Correctly

When temporarily storing liquid items, make sure they're completely sealed to avoid leaks. Any damp items must be dried first. While they can eventually dry out inside, you also risk mold and mildew in your storage units in the meantime. As a rule of thumb, store dry items only — no exceptions. 

5. Clean Your Items Prior to Storing Them

Make it a practice to always clean and dry your items before placing them in storage units. You can prevent damage to the items themselves and other problems by cleaning your valuables first. Dust may not damage your valuables, but it can be very unwelcoming and unsanitary. 

If you're storing dishes, glasses and other hard items, please make sure they are properly cleaned as well. There could be mold spores on these items that can grow inside your storage units. Use bleach when cleaning hard surfaces, as it's quite effective at killing mold spores.

6. Don't Store the Wrong Items

Certain items shouldn't be placed in storage, such as wet items, since they can introduce mold and other problems. If you're storing bathroom or kitchen items, please don't include hazardous liquids. Certain storage units may have rules against these materials being stored at all, so make sure to check ahead of time.

We Offer Climate-Controlled Storage 

You need good air quality and a stable temperature in your storage unit, especially when you have clothing, electronics, antiques, artwork, photographs and other important documents in your storage units. Never let mold grow — it's hazardous to your health and can cause significant damage to your valuables. At SMARTBOX, we offer temperature-controlled units to ensure your valuables are kept dry and safe. We also have waterproof vinyl covers for extra protection. Call us today to learn more about our services or if you're ready to rent a storage unit.

Dusty Rhodes