BA Storage - Some Questions????

Eugene Balinski eugeneb at NNI.COM
Tue Feb 26 15:28:32 EST 2002

t 09:32 AM 2/26/02 -0700, Jeff Anderson wrote:
>Michael Crestohl wrote:
>> My family and I recently moved into a house here in the Upper Valley
>region of Vermont/New Hampshire.  We have a nice two-car garage which has new
>> electric doors that lock and a cement floor, basement ( with cement floor)
>> and an attic.  All three places are unheated.
Congrats on the new digs !

>-- snip
>> So basically I'm asking about the best place to store vacuum tube-based
>> electronic equipment and paper manuals in an 85 year-old house with an
>> attic, basement and two-car garage in Central Vermont.
>Given your choices, I would probably choose the basement.
>I would avoid the attic because of the wide temperature variations through
>the seasons.
>An unheated basement would probably have the most constant temperature of
>any of these areas.  If you do choose the basement, I would be sure to
>provide airflow between the gear and the cement floor to prevent
>condensation (and avoid any possible flooding).

   This is IMPORTANT.  Moisture in and under the floor can penetrate cardboard
boxes and provide a place for mold and mildew to form.  Not good.  An easy
way to provide the spacing is to use wooden pallets.  These can be had
for free (many times), and will provide about 4" of clearance.  It there
has been any history of water or moisture in the basement, you can
always double up on the pallets for 8".  If the water has higher,
store them elsewhere.

>I don't know of a good way to measure the humidity level.  De-humidifiers
>can be purchased, but I believe they are rather expensive.  If you have a
>small enclosed room within the basement, maybe an electric heater with
>a thermostat would be enough to chase the dampness away.

   IMHO, Portable Electric heaters can be dangerous if unattended.  A
baseboard heater
unit can help in the winter.  A dehumidifier is the best for late spring - fall.
Dehumidifiers are not all that expensive and work well.  Many times they
can be had at yard sales or estate auctions for cheap money.  Measure the
area of
your basement, and buy the humidifier for next size up.  Don't worry, you
really can't buy
one too big. The dehumidifiers do need to be drained.  You can do this
manually once or twice a day, or run a  small length of garden hose into a
sump or
floor drain.  I run a dehumidifier in the basement of a new home and
it is always nice and dry down there.  No rust or corrosion on any tools
or anything stored there.  If you like your boat anchors, and you
store them in the basement, get a dehumidifier.

   One thing, the temperature in the cellar must be above 55 degrees or
so for the dehumidifier to work correctly. Otherwise they can freeze up.
Buy one with an automatic freeze detector.  Most models have one.  The only
other thing that you can really do is to place a large fan on a timer such that
two or three times a day it comes on for 20 minutes or so to circulate the
air around the cellar.  In that way you do not end up with dry and
not-so-dry areas because of the way that items are stacked.

>With regards to your printed documentation... I think paper likes the same
>environment as people.  Neither cold and damp, nor hot and dry.

   Paper should be kept out of direct sunlight, sealed if possible, in a cool
and dry environment.  Copy paper boxes make good storage boxes.  Keep them

Good Luck,

    Gene K1NR/3

This list is a public service of the City of Tempe, Arizona

Subscription control -
Archives -

More information about the Boatanchors mailing list