The answer is an emphatic yes. Take a moment and think about the contents of a typical gun safe. Guns and jewellery do not fair so well in humid conditions on account of the moisture corroding anything metallic. Keeping moisture out of the gun safe also ensures the longevity of the safe itself, given its metallic nature.
Factors that determine the humidity levels of your safe
Now that we have established why it is important to keep your gun safe dry, there are certain factors that make certain gun safes more susceptible to the damaging effects of humidity. As such, you need to consider the following factors before settling on an ideal method of keeping moisture out of your gun safe.
1. Climate of your area
Humidity is largely determined by the climate of your location. If you live in tropical regions or near coastlines and such, chances are that you will definitely require a dehumidifier to protect the contents of your safe. Such regions have high levels of humidity and for you, having a dehumidifier is vital for the safety of your valuables.
2. How often you access it
If you rarely use the contents of your safe then it is imperative that you get a dehumidifier for it. This is because, when there is limited airflow into the safe, humidity levels rise. Frequently used safes do not require dehumidifiers as much because they are constantly getting fresh air when you open them. If your gun safe is rarely opened, you should definitely invest in a good dehumidifier.
3. Location of the safe
Lower sections of the house are more susceptible to humid conditions. If your gun safe is located in the basement for instance, it is definitely a requirement for you to install a dehumidifier for the good of your guns and valuables.
How to get rid of moisture in your gun safe
Dehumidifiers are the best way to get rid of moisture that has built up in your safe. However, there are other ways to prevent the entry of moisture into the gun safe. We shall explore the best ways to keep moisture out of your gun safe.
Dehumidifiers are your best option when ensuring that the interior of your gun safe remains nice and dry. Dehumidifiers function by absorbing all the moisture in the air, effectively curbing the oxidation of metals. A rusty gun is not a welcome sight to any gun owner. Using a dehumidifier greatly increases the longevity of your guns and maintains their optimum functionality.
They come in all shapes and sizes. They vary in complexity and they can be used in conjunction to become more effective. Dehumidifiers can be categorized into electric or non-electric dehumidifiers.
1. Desiccant bags
Desiccant bags are the cheapest types of dehumidifiers. They are easy to use and do not require electrical access to function. Moreover, they are highly reusable and rarely need replacement. These are ideal for dehumidifying your gun safe although they do require a bit of maintenance. Every few months, you must bake the bags in the oven at very low temperatures all through the night. This helps them to remain viable and capable of removing moisture from the air.
Using silica bags is an equally effective way of dehumidifying your gun safe. Silica actively absorbs moisture from air and keeps things relatively dry. However, you will need to be careful that they do not come into direct contact with the metal of your gun as they can damage it. These can be purchased in bulk at a cheap price.
3. Rechargeable dehumidifiers
Rechargeable dehumidifiers are another great option when it comes to keeping your gun safe dry. They come in all shapes and sizes with different moisture capacities and levels of portability. Some of them still utilize moisture absorbent substances such as silica. They are very effective in removing moisture from confined spaces and so it is not recommended for use if you have moisture-dependent jewellery such as pearls and opals in your safe.
Rechargeable humidifiers usually have indicators for when they are at maximum moisture capacity. They have a fairly long recharge period but they can also last a long period of time in the gun safe depending on humidity levels. They have the longest lifespan of the three non-electric dehumidifiers.
Electric dehumidifiers employ a different method to ensure that moisture does not build up in your gun safe. Instead of having moisture-absorption capabilities, most electric dehumidifiers heat up the internal environment of the dehumidifier, effectively preventing the condensation of the air within the safe.
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A number of variations are available for you if your safe has electrical access. A good example is the “Golden Rod” which keeps your guns and valuables dry by heating up the air to approximately 140 degrees, thereby locking in the moisture in a permanently gaseous state.
Electric dehumidifiers are a bit more expensive although they are worth the cost. They can be installed on the floor or wall of the safe with a detachable power cord running through a hole in the back of the safe, which had been created for this exact reason. They are your best option if you often forget about maintaining the humidity of your gun safe since they require little maintenance. Throwing in a few non-electric dehumidifiers as well will ensure that your safe remains dry even in the event of extended power outages.
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Investing in good sealant material
As an added measure when maintaining the dryness of your gun safe, you can invest in a case that supports the use of sealant to prevent further moisture incursion. Usually, the sealant system will be built around areas most susceptible to leaks such as the door. Common sealants such as foam, silicone and caulking are applied on the inside of the door of the gun safe, effectively preventing the entry of humid air.
Alternatively, you can modify your gun safe if it does not come with an in-built sealant system. Using a sealant lightens the task of your dehumidifier because the entry of moist air is effectively limited. When used together with a good dehumidifier, you can rest assured that the contents of your gun safe will not experience any degradation from the effects of oxidation.
On occasion, check the condition of your guns and/or jewellery. Make sure you wipe down all the metal parts for even the slightest buildup of moisture, regardless of the effectiveness of the method of dehumidifying you settle on.
Keeping the internal atmosphere of your gun safe relatively dry is imperative. The cost of a simple dehumidifier is not prohibitive and so you should invest in a good one in order to avoid unnecessary damage on the contents of your gun safe.