If you are a safe owner, or you are planning to be, you probably know how valuable this piece of home or office equipment can be. That’s the place where you can keep all the things you consider to be important safe and protected from theft, fire damage, water damage, and all other circumstances that may harm them or make them disappear.
But it turns out that even when these things like jewelry, money, documents, or weapons are in there, under a lock, they still may end up becoming worthless if they come in contact with moisture. That’s the reason you have to know how to keep moisture out of a safe. But first, let’s see why this is happening at all.
Why do safes gather moisture?
Most safes are designed in a way that allows them to be airtight – that’s especially the case with waterproof and fireproof vaults like Winchester gun safes. That means they will keep things you don’t want to come in contact with your belongings on the outside, no matter what, but it also means they will create ideal conditions for moisture to gather, which can lead to creating a mold. The fact is, safes are dark and humid spaces, so they are a perfect ground for mold, mildew, and fungus to grow, and all things you plan on putting inside of the safe contain a certain amount of moisture. That’s why this process will most likely start happening before you know it unless you do something about it right now.
How to keep moisture away from the safe
There are several tips and tricks we are ready to share with you that will help you prevent your belongings from being damaged inside of the safe because of the moisture.
Tip 1: Air out your safe
The very first thing you should do is take your safe outside, you can wash it fully while you’re there and then leave it open in the sun to air properly. It would be good to make sure it’s out there for several hours. That way, you will minimize the chance of having moisture trapped inside of your safe, and it’s recommended to do the same thing every couple of weeks. Now, the frequency of safe airing depends on its size, but also on the fact of how full it is.
If you have a smaller safe that’s completely filled with different sorts of items, you should do this more often, but if you have a large safe that’s only half full, airing it once in a while will do the work just fine. Also, if you have a huge and heavy safe, you cannot take outside easily, you can do the whole thing inside of your house, but make sure to open the windows and doors wide open in order to make good air circulation. Just bear in mind that none of this is going to work if you live in a place that has a high level of humidity in the air.
Tip 2: Use an electric dehumidifier
In order to prevent moisture from damaging your items inside of the safe, you can install an electric dehumidifier. It is a device that will make sure the internal temperature of the safe is higher for a couple of degrees than the one in the room, which will prevent creating a humid environment in it. These devices are very easily installed, and they are not demanding when it comes to their maintenance.
Tip 3: Use dry rice
In order to restore gun safe humidity control, you need to eliminate any moisture there is. And you can do that with the help of dry rice. It is a natural desiccant that has the ability to absorb moisture from any surrounding, which will lead to water vaporizing over time. All you have to do is to place a bowl with dry rice inside the safe and to leave it there for the next couple of months. It will do the job on its own.
Tip 4: Use baking soda
Baking soda is another DIY solution that can provide you with a dry and moisture-free environment. It’s also a natural desiccant, just like dry rice, and it has the capacity to bring down the level of humidity inside the safe. Again, the only task you will have is to put some baking soda in a bowl or a jar and then to put that dish inside of the safe on a shelf. Not only will the soda take away the moisture, but it will eliminate the smell of mildew that already finds its way in there.
Tip 5: Use silica gel
Now, the silica gel is probably the best dehumidifier you can find. Dry rice and baking soda should be just a temporary solution before you get to find and use silica gel for this purpose. It is a desiccant that has the ability to absorb water vapor up to 40 percent of its weight. When you place silica bags in your safe, you can leave them there for three to four weeks to keep the humidity level under control.
After that, they will need so-called recharging. That’s a process that indicates removing silica bags from the safe and heating them up to over 300 Fahrenheit so that water can evaporate from them.
Here are some additional suggestions that will help you protect your items and prevent them from being impact by the moisture from the safe:
- Open your safe and leave it like that for 20 minutes every two weeks
- Position the safe in a dry area of your house or building and avoid basement
- Do not put your valuables directly into the safe, pack them in airtight containers and keep them like that
- Make sure every item is completely dry before placing it inside the safe
- Acclimatize your new safe by keeping its door open for 24 hours before you start using it
What items do you need to protect from moisture?
Not everything is sensitive to moisture impact, but you need to know which objects are in order to protect them in time.
- Documents are definitely first on our list since they are made of paper, which is a great breeding ground for mold and mildew
- Coins are in second place since the high level of humidity can drastically tarnish them and destroy their value
- Photos and negatives are super sensitive to moisture, and in case there’s a lot of humidity inside the safe, they will deteriorate really quickly
- Weapons made of metal parts will be exposed to corrosion and rust if in contact with moisture for too long
What to do when things become moldy?
If you own a safe, and you didn’t know about this potential problem, you must have been in a situation to find your belongings covered with mold at some point. If not, you can expect something like that to happen, so you better be prepared. When you notice there’s mold on some objects, make sure to remove them immediately and to leave them to air out outside. Then, you need to clean the safe, it would be best to use bleach cleansers for that purpose and to dry it thoroughly, so there’s no humidity left in the interior.
Even though you can do all of that on your own, make sure to request professional help in case mold attacks your photos or documents because removing it from those things can be a bit tricky. People who are in this business will know how to gently restore photos, what cleaning techniques and what substances to use in order not to damage your belongings.
It is important to be aware of how humidity can affect your most precious belongings before buying a gun safe, so you can prevent that from happening in the first place. We hope you will find this information and advice helpful and that you will take precautionary measures so your safe stay clear from moisture.
According to the experience of a great number of people airing out the safe and leaving it exposed to the sun is one of the best moves you can make, as well as using silica bags that can absorb a great amount of water vapor. It’s up to you how often you are going to do it and whether or not you will be disciplined with these measures, but we recommend you to stay on course with this issue in order to truly protect things you value the most.