Protecting your stored items from Mould and Mildew

Protecting your stored items from Mould and Mildew

Storing items in a storage unit is often a necessary part of managing space and organising belongings. However, one of the significant challenges that come with storage is protecting these items from the damaging effects of mould and mildew. These fungi not only cause a musty odor and unsightly stains but can also lead to significant damage to various materials and pose health risks. Understanding how to effectively safeguard your possessions against these threats is crucial for maintaining their condition and ensuring a healthy environment.

Understanding Mould and Mildew

Before diving into protection strategies, it's essential to understand what mould and mildew are and why they occur. Both are types of fungi that thrive in moist, warm environments. Mould tends to grow on organic materials like wood, paper, and fabric, while mildew is more commonly found on damp surfaces such as walls and floors. High humidity levels, poor ventilation, and lack of sunlight are prime conditions for their growth.

Prevention Strategies

Control Humidity Levels

The key to preventing mould and mildew growth is controlling the humidity level in your storage area. Keeping indoor humidity below 60% can significantly reduce the risk. This can be achieved by using dehumidifiers or air conditioners in prone areas. For natural ventilation solutions, ensure windows or vents are open regularly to allow air circulation.

Choose Your Storage Location Wisely

Not all areas in a building are equally suitable for storage when it comes to preventing mould and mildew. Avoid cellars unless they are well-ventilated and moisture-controlled. Attics can also be problematic if not properly insulated or ventilated. Consider climate-controlled storage units for sensitive items.

Use Moisture Absorbers

For enclosed spaces like storage boxes, moisture absorbers such as silica gel packets can be incredibly effective at keeping dampness at bay. These can be particularly useful for protecting delicate items such as clothing, documents, or electronics.

Proper Packaging

How you pack your items can also impact their vulnerability to mould and mildew. Use plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids rather than cardboard boxes which absorb moisture easily. For added protection, wrap items in acid-free tissue paper before placing them in containers.

Regular Inspections

Regularly checking stored items allows you to catch any signs of mould or mildew early before they spread extensively. Look out for any musty smells or visible growths on both the stored items and the surrounding area.

Cleaning Infested Items

If despite your best efforts some items do become infested with mould or mildew, it's important to clean them promptly:

  • Non-porous materials: Clean with a mixture of water and vinegar or specialised anti-mould products.
  • Porous materials: Depending on the severity of the infestation and the value of the item, professional cleaning might be necessary.

Always wear protective gear such as gloves and masks when dealing with mould-infested items to avoid health risks.


Protecting your stored items from mould and mildew requires a proactive approach focused on controlling environmental conditions conducive to fungal growth. By understanding the causes of these issues and implementing effective prevention strategies like controlling humidity levels, choosing appropriate storage locations, using moisture absorbers, correctly packaging belongings, and conducting regular inspections - you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your possessions due to these persistent fungi. Remember that immediate action is critical at any sign of an infestation to prevent further spread and safeguard both your belongings' integrity - and your health.

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Patrick Pellens

Author: Patrick Pellens

I started in the insurance industry in 2003 specialising in Personal Insurances such as Motor Bike, Car and Home Insurance.