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Old 06-19-2012, 08:49 PM
 
418 posts, read 435,325 times
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Default humidity levels for basement?

What relative humidity should I be aiming for in a finished basement during the summer, if I want to be able to store clothes there too?
What should I set the dehumidifier to? 50%? 60%?

Also, do you have any suggestions for moisture-resistant containers, bags, ways of storing things in a basement long-term?

This is a really nicely finished basement - new, fresh and all... but I still don't like basements, so it will be somewhat wasted space with me. Maybe I will put a ping-pong table there...

At a minimum, want to be able to store some books, clothes, shoes and camping gear, but want to avoid mold. What are good ways to save such items from potential moisture there?
thanks.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:57 PM
 
Location: bellmore
326 posts, read 368,253 times
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KEEP IT BELOW 50% HUMIDITY !!! the dryer the better , summertime a must to run full time ,winter the heat would keep it dry ...If you don't own a humidity gauge walmart has them cheap or ACE ,LOWES ,ect..
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
13,689 posts, read 15,342,853 times
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If it is something you value, store it in the attic for the summer until you know how damp/dry your basement is. Was the a dehumidifier down there, or a set up for one to drain?
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:53 PM
 
418 posts, read 435,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
If it is something you value, store it in the attic for the summer until you know how damp/dry your basement is. Was the a dehumidifier down there, or a set up for one to drain?
I just bought a portable dehumidifier (50 pint) - will empty manually.
Wondering what settings to use. Will buy a hygrometer to see what is the situation.
The previous owners used downstairs as an office and play room. They did run a dehumidifier in the summer. There is CAC but I would rarely use it.
There goes my $50/month LIPA bill .

I wish the attic were bigger(taller)/more accessible - walking there would be risky.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:56 PM
 
418 posts, read 435,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar1458 View Post
KEEP IT BELOW 50% HUMIDITY !!! the dryer the better , summertime a must to run full time ,winter the heat would keep it dry ...If you don't own a humidity gauge walmart has them cheap or ACE ,LOWES ,ect..
Well, the advice I read does not necessarily go that way - seems like there is such a things as a "too dry" basement - will start drawing moisture in through the walls.
So, I am looking for levels that are acceptable to not do damage.
Indoor recommended I find 20-60%, and assumed that a basement would be in the high end of these, but not sure.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Huntington, NY
7,589 posts, read 10,132,904 times
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Just recently took a class on mold issues and one of the instructors (a mold professional) talked about that subject. His professional advice was not to go below 60% because it could start to draw moisture in through the walls - something to avoid. 60-65% supposedly was "ideal", with 70% the max.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,519 posts, read 5,691,009 times
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Good points above.

I leave mine at 65% and its fine.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:13 AM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
8,821 posts, read 9,682,043 times
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Storage - plastic tubs should be fine. I used to keep stuff in plastic tubs in the farthest reaches of the basement and it was all fine.

My dehumidifier did not have a humidity gauge, looks like you got good advice above.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:18 AM
Status: "Forget Holbrook, Huntington is where it's at!" (set 21 hours ago)
 
777 posts, read 675,902 times
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I keep mine down to 35-40%, but mine drains directly into the ground from a hose connected to the dehumidifier.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Inis Fada
13,689 posts, read 15,342,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011littlehouse View Post
I just bought a portable dehumidifier (50 pint) - will empty manually.
Wondering what settings to use. Will buy a hygrometer to see what is the situation.
The previous owners used downstairs as an office and play room. They did run a dehumidifier in the summer. There is CAC but I would rarely use it.
There goes my $50/month LIPA bill .

I wish the attic were bigger(taller)/more accessible - walking there would be risky.
I run the dehumidifier in the unfinished area of my basement after rain storms (unless we get a stretch where it rains a few days) and keep a fan circulating the air in the finished portion during the day throughout the summer. The basement door is left open to allow the dry, cool upstairs air to sink (CAC up, none down) into the finished portion. I don't use a hygrometer, I can feel when it is dehumidifier time.

If you must store items in the basement, the plastic bins work well (I like to toss cedar balls in mine) and for books and such, keep them on shelves with the most important on the upper shelves.

As for the attic -- my in-laws have a hatch to access a short attic. There is plywood down around the hatch, and all stored items are accessible to the hatch without having to climb up and climb around the short space. Is it possible for you to do anything like that for storing things you might need less frequently?
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