Gun Safe Moisture

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Thread: Gun Safe Moisture

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    Member Array Greg Foster's Avatar
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    Gun Safe Moisture

    Now that the weather is getting colder, I've noticed some moisture in my gun safe. I was shocked to see it because I put a "Damp Rid" moisture absorber in it.

    What is the best way to eliminate moisture in a gun safe?

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    Where is your safe located? Inside? Basement? Garage? Perferably where temperature/humidity changes are minimized.

    My son has his safe in his FL garage, complete with the world's most miserable humidity. I gave him one of Remington's electrically rechargable dehumidifiers (@$25?) and it worked well during his 9-month deployment overseas. I know the coastal WA weather (lived in Spokane) and the dampness there is a killer. You might need to replace the "Damp Rid" more frequently or install one of those electrically heated devices, which will prevent the moisture from collecting to begin with. It's the coolness that attracks the moisture.
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    Member Array Greg Foster's Avatar
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    It's in the basement. The Damp Rid doesn't seem to be collecting very much moisture. I'll have to look into a heating device made for gun safes.

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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    I just put an opened box of bakin' soda in the gun case. It doesn't get cold much down here, but the humidity is unbearable.
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    Most safes have a moisture release agent in the walls; that is how they are "fire retardant". Putting silica gel or other "dryer" in the safe will not work. Put the gun(s) in airtight bags with dessicant inside.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deafdave3 View Post
    I just put an opened box of bakin' soda in the gun case. It doesn't get cold much down here, but the humidity is unbearable.
    Soooo... when the rust starts, your gun won't smell bad?

    Seriously - what gave you the notion that baking soda absorbs enough moisture to serve as a dehumidifying agent?
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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Soooo... when the rust starts, your gun won't smell bad?

    Seriously - what gave you the notion that baking soda absorbs enough moisture to serve as a dehumidifying agent?
    Not only have I known this for 25 years, but it validates this on the Arm and Hamma website!
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    Greg, consider what Oldvet reccommends. My brother in law has used one for years and it takes care of the problem. I'm sure Bass Pro has what you need.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Foster View Post
    Now that the weather is getting colder, I've noticed some moisture in my gun safe. I was shocked to see it because I put a "Damp Rid" moisture absorber in it.

    What is the best way to eliminate moisture in a gun safe?
    Keep it closed. Also, have a gun safe that's lined. Keep your firearms well lubed for storage, and desiccant bags such as the 1lb and oven rechargeable work well IMO. If you're having issues with moisture in your gun safe, then it's due to the construction of the safe, or the location it's in. Then again...it's keeping all things equal. I got out the AR15 last night to survey some coyotes at 30° outside temperature. The rifle was isolated until I gave it a good wipe down, and didn't go back into the safe until this was done. My safe is a refuge, and possible contamination is something I don't take lightly. I've never seen the need for electronic devices or heaters in my safe(s). For the most part, they are acclimated to their surrounding environment. Some of my desiccant packs have been around for 10+ years, and I've only recharged a couple in the past four years for turning colors.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Foster View Post
    Now that the weather is getting colder, I've noticed some moisture in my gun safe. I was shocked to see it because I put a "Damp Rid" moisture absorber in it.

    What is the best way to eliminate moisture in a gun safe?
    I'm not sure what the "best" method is, but I have a 60x30x30" safe that's anchored to the foundation. It sustains some good temperature change, moderate humidity change. Inside, I have three different humidity controls in operation, in the safe:

    1. One 18" goldenrod that's powered through a little hole for the wire -- 200cu.ft (?) protection;
    2. One Eva-Dry 333 rechargeable unit -- 333cu.ft (?) protection; and
    3. One Hydrosorbent silica dessicant 750gm "can" -- 27cu.ft (?) protection.


    That's under 30cu.ft of space to control, but with (ostensibly) 590cu.ft of dehumidifying control of that space. I did find that just the goldenrod didn't seem to be keeping up with the humidity, as I found occasional evidence of moisture in the corners of a couple guns when just the goldenrod was running. That's when I added the other two.

    Once per month, every month, I find myself recharging each of the two portable dehumidifers (the 750gm can, and the Eva-Dry unit). And, every single month, both of these little guys show a color change from the medium-blue of a fully dry and recharged state to a light pink-yellow color of a humid state. Result since using all three dehumidifers? No sign of any humidity issues (either too much wet or dry), in 5yrs with the safe at the current location.

    Is there a better way? Likely, sure. But I'd prefer to have at least a couple different options running at once, if for no other reason than to double-check each other. If one shows "color," then a quick glance to the other dehumidifier confirms it. The goldenrod is running 24x7x365, whether I forget it in the oven or not. And the two portable units report the humidity level independently from each other. Whether so much dehumidifying power will ultimately suck all the moisture out of the wood stocks in 30yrs, I don't know. YMMV.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    If you're having issues with moisture in your gun safe, then it's due to the construction of the safe, or the location it's in.

    Some of my desiccant packs have been around for 10+ years, and I've only recharged a couple in the past four years for turning colors.
    Yup. Where the safe is located and its proximity to things like poorly-insulated walls, foundation cement, etc., can play a huge part on the safe's maintenance of internal humidity control. For example, the same safe anchored to the raw cement foundation of a poorly-insulated (or non-insulated) garage will obviously fare much worse, humidity-wise, than the same safe sitting inside the carpeted master bedroom closet in a well-heated home.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; November 8th, 2010 at 07:54 AM.
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    My two safes are in a closet in a room that is always air conditioned. I have never noticed rust on anything, but after reading these ten postings, I'm going to do some serious looking.
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    What type/brand safe is it? Dessicant should remove any moisture inside as long as the safe is sealed. Many "less expensive" ones are not sealed, providing "pertection" against thief only.

    If you have no gasket around the door, install one. Simple adhesive foam strips will do, but the fireproof gasket material can be ordered and cut to size. Seal up any openings/gaps you can find. As long as there are opening to allow it, moisture will penetrate the safe. Ideally, it should be air tight for any dessicants to work effectively.

    Moisture collects on anything cooler than ambiant temp (think cold glass of soda) so don't put firearms brought in from outside and the cold in the safe right away. Let them warm up first, preferably before even cleaning.

    If you have that much moisture in the basement, you may have bigger problems than you realize. Increase the ventilation and make sure any heat ducts there are open.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Member Array Greg Foster's Avatar
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    It's a Sentry®Safe 14-Gun 59 in. Combination Lock Gun Safe. There is no gasket around the door, and 2 small holes in the bottom where it was attached to a small pallet when I bought it. I'll try to get those sealed this week.
    In the mean time I hung a bag of "Damp Gone" in addition to the Damp Rid, hopefully things will be under control till I get this figured out.
    http://www.northlineexpress.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=5RU-620

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