"It's not the heat, it's the humidity," is something you get used to hearing when you live in Australia. The humidity can be consistently high throughout the country, with Melbourne experiencing an average annual relative humidity level of 55.8%. This climbs to 61.3% for Sydney and up to 66.8% for Brisbane, but remember that these are only averages, and as you'll know from personal experience, humidity can climb much higher.
Combating extreme humidity can be relatively straightforward in daily life (hello, air conditioning), but it's not just you who needs to protect yourself against humidity. When you need to utilise a storage unit, have you taken the necessary steps to protect your goods against the ravages of humidity?
Control the Climate
There's one effective way to prevent humidity from affecting your items while they're in storage, and that's to rent a climate-controlled unit. The relative humidity inside the unit is electronically regulated and can be tailored to suit the contents of the unit. The downside is that this type of rental tends to be the most expensive. Fortunately, there are other ways to protect your items from humidity without any form of climate control.
Say Yes to Plastic
Cardboard is not your friend when it comes to using a storage unit. Any humidity inside the unit can affect the cardboard, which can then affect the contents of the box. You should purchase a sufficient number of plastic storage boxes with lids that can be tightly sealed. Whatever is placed within these plastic boxes needs to be completely free of moisture before the box is sealed. If you must use cardboard boxes, they have to be elevated, so place them on a shelf, or some type of elevated platform inside the unit to keep them away from the floor.
Dry, Dry Again, Then Dry Some More
There are some items which are more likely to have a residual amount of moisture, such as fridges, washing machines or any appliance which needs water. These need to be absolutely dry to prevent this moisture from evaporating into the interior of the storage unit. They can be manually wiped dry or air-dried using a hairdryer, and you might want to finish with a light sprinkling of baking soda to soak up anything you've missed.
Soak Up That Moisture
No matter how diligent you might be, you can't say with absolute certainty that the unit will be free of moisture. Go to a hardware shop and pick up some moisture control granules. These are generally supplied inside a plastic tub, which should then be placed inside the unit and opened. The granules inside the tub will absorb moisture in the air. Although they need to be periodically changed, this gives you an opportunity to visit your storage unit to inspect your items.
Storage units are designed to keep your items safe from outside elements, but you need to do all you can to stop some of those elements from finding their way inside.