I've not done this before, so am concerned. Midwest, unheated but dry
storage area. A few pieces of good, wood furniture. Am wondering about
potential for damage just from continued cold and assuming it remains
fairly dry. The storage area is secure, so no leaky roof or puddles.
Well, sorta', but...
Generally, where the problem arises is in taking a piece and introducing
it into a heated, tightly sealed house w/o additional moisture
compensation. In winter in forced air heating, inside RH can drop to
the single digits pretty easily.
In an unheated space, there's not the heating of cold air causing such
drastic drops in RH and so moisture will stay more nearly in
equilibrium. As another noted, it's perhaps more likely to be a
condensation or similar problem if it's too high.
It'll beat up on the furniture. It dries out the wood something
fierce and the joints loosen up. A season in the cold won't kill it,
but I wouldn't want to have good furniture in an un-conditioned
storage space for long in a climate that had big swings of temperature
I thought the same thing, and filled a big unit until our house was
completed. It rained a couple of times, and it was SO well sealed that the
condensation wreaked havoc inside. No leaking, just changes in humidity.
I'd wrap items very loosely to protect from dust, and put lots of coffee
cans of desiccant around. Maybe a heater on a timer, if the owner would
allow it, or even if there is an outlet in a storage compartment.
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Learn how to care for a friend.
We've owned and operated a self storage business for the last 9 years
or so. Never have had any client complaints about household
furnishings getting damaged. There sometimes is condensation of
moisture on metal things, (filing cabinets, autos, and similar) that
can cause rusting. Well packed and covered things appear to be OK. For
best protection using a storage service with 'climate control' is
somewhat better. Mice can be a problem, too. We have a lot of long
term business storage that seems to be perfectly OK, probably boxes of
records and other office equipment.
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