What is a good humidity level for a gun safe?

You have to take care of your gun safes. It can neither be to dry or too humid. So, can a gun safe too dry? Yes, but it does not pose as much of a problem as moisture.

A hydrometer is a tool you should be using to keep a precise watch of your gun safe humidity level: the goal is to have 50 percent relative humidity (RH), or, at least, around 40 to 60%. Bellow and above this mark, the safe start to damage what’s inside. So, if you’re wondering if a gun safe bee too dry, the answer is yes.

What is the best temperature for gun storage?

Moisture inside a gun safe can make gun rusty. This is why you should keep your gun at a safe place, a non-temperature-controlled storage (like the shed or the garage) that is not subject to temperature changes between night and day. There are various dehumidifying products available on the market. This is made of silica gel, a material that absorbs moisture from the air. Whenever you choose to store the gun, be sure to keep a dehumidifying system around. You might also be interested in my post on dehumidifiers for gun safes.

Ideal temperature of a safe

The most recommended product to accomplish this is the EvaDry canister, which contains custom crystals with very high moisture absorption rates.The EvaDry is available in different sizes for use inside a safe and they are renewable: the crystals start out blue, and when they turn pink, it means the canister is ready to be recharged simply by plugging it for one night.

Another kind of dehumidifier is the electrical rod (called dehumidifier rod, goldenrod moisture control, drive rod or heating rod). Once you place it inside the safe, it gives enough heat to warm the air to keep it circulating inside the safe. Articles inside the safe will be 3 degrees warmer than outside ambient air, which
prevents humidity levels inside the safe. A cheaper way to keep moisture levels at check is by leaving a bowl full of rice inside the safe.

Is low humidity bad for a gun safe?

Humidity below 40% causes wood and steel damage. To prevent this, you can purchase dry-packs and keep the gun inside this item. Whether you need dehumidifiers or dry packs will depend on where you live. For example, if you live in a humid city or especially near lakes, rivers, and the ocean or the sea, you will definitely need to keep moisture levels low. On the other hand, if you live in dry, arid zones, you will need dry packs. Lastly, the temperature should be around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wood or metal safes?

Wood and metal have very different requirements: metal parts have low humidity to avoid corrosion, while wood’s humidity is already around 45 to 50%. Steel safes can be around 35 to 40% RH and 60 to 70 degrees, especially during winter. Wood sages will take moisture during summer seasons and heat up, so you need to avoid moisture and dry it quickly whenever you see it wet. RH for wood safes should be around 50%, while degrees can remain to about the same as steel safes. Over 70% RH can damage the gun’s mold and create rust, even more, if the gun cabinet has no air circulation. Temperature rises will affect the RH levels: when the temperature increases, the air will hold greater amounts of water. That’s why temperature should be constant and not higher than 70 degrees. If the air is to dry inside a wooden gun safe, the wood may expand and crack.

Living in very hot areas with over  70% humidity

If you live in a hot area with no humidity you’ll need to take the special case of your gun safe and, of course, your gun. Continued exposure to dryness can corrode the guns just as much as the moisture. That’s why a quick solution would be storing the gun safe on either the basement or the garage, where, as said before, the temperature will remain constant. A dehumidifier would not be necessary in this case. However, if the place is too hot (beyond 80 degrees), you should consider placing an AC that keeps then temperature around the recommended levels if it starts to rise above 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

For dry places, it’s better to use iron or steel, as it takes longer to warm up, much longer than the surrounding air. Cold steel is also recommended for this situation. Wood safes wouldn’t work on these situations as the safes would crack. The best bet is using cold steel with a light coat of oil. Ammunition, on the other hand, can degrade in time in hot and dry places so, as said before, if you’re storing large amounts of ammo, use an AC or keep a central air conditioning system and, if need be, place a dehumidifier canister inside the safe. Keep in mind that high temperatures or humidity and temperature variation and drops shortens ammunition life.

Living in a cold areas

If you live in cold areas or in places where you face strong winters, consider buying a heating rod to keep it inside the safe. Wooden would work better in this situations as it takes longer to drop the temperature of the air within. High RH levels can cause rust and corrosion, so it is necessary to keep dehumidifiers and also store ammo inside sealed ammo cans, plastic and surplus. If you choose to store your guns in the garage, place them in watertight cases before closing them, and then carry them to the garage. This should keep the humidity of the cases at check.

Where to put the gun safe?

Avoiding the risk of humidity, dryness and also fire and theft starts with the perfect placement of the gun safe. If you do not posses basement or garage (maybe you live in an apartment), you can store the safe at a bedroom closet, where risks of humidity and dryness are low. A coat closet is also a very good option to place it to keep the gun safe and what’s inside cool and dry.

Basements, albeit the safer place to avoid theft, bring the most humidity and temperature problems. However, this issues can be resolved by following the instructions I have already shared.

In conclusion, you should prioritize the risks you want to avoid to select the placement of the gun safe, and also asses the protection or use you want your gun to have inside your household.


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