Most people with basements love the extra storage space that these rooms offer. Many don’t realize, however, that you should think twice about how you store your belongings in this area. Consider the following guidelines to help you avoid damage to or loss of your possessions in the basement, which can be prone to moisture problems.
1. Don’t store your items in cardboard boxes. Cardboard doesn’t offer any protection against moisture and will actually absorb moisture. After a few years, you’ll notice the box sagging, and the contents will be damp and musty.
2. Try not to store paper and cloth items in the basement. These kinds of items easily absorb moisture and will be ruined.
3. Store items in plastic containers. Plastic containers will offer some water resistance. To help you find things, choose clear plastic containers so that you can easily see the contents of each container. Purchase some desiccant packets and toss a few in each container to help protect against moisture. You can usually find these at stores like Walmart, Hobby Lobby and other craft stores (they are used for drying flowers).
4. Store items up off the floor on sturdy metal shelves. That way if the unthinkable happens and your basement floods, your possessions will hopefully be out of reach of the water. Try to pack your bins lightly. If you cram them full, think how difficult it will be to move these heavy bins in the event that the basement does flood.
5. Realize that if you have numerous items stored on the floor, this can allow certain areas to get even wetter, and it encourages mold growth. Contact a basement waterproofing expert for help if you notice continual excess moisture.
6. Downsize the number of things you are hanging on to. Only keep what you really need. Give away some of your things now to those who will appreciate and use them.
7. If you must store clothing in the basement, use space bags to protect them. You’ll remove all the air from the bags with a vacuum hose, which helps protect the clothing from moisture, dust and insect damage.
8. Remember to keep a clear path around your heating and cooling system. Also, don’t store any dangerous chemicals in the same room as your heater.
9. Allow for good airflow in this room. Be sure to use a dehumidifier in seasons of high humidity.
Properly caring for and storing your possessions, as well as making sure you have a waterproof basement, will help you protect your belongings so that they are around for you and your loved ones to enjoy for years to come.