Does a waterproof gun safe exist? You may have thought about this question often as a firearm owner. The answer, NO safe is watertight. Many manufacturers claim that the safes they sell have a waterproof design to keep water out.
When buying a high-quality gun safe, the supplier uses a “Palusol Seal” around the door. The seal expands up to seven times its size when there is a fire. The activation temperature ranges from 212° to 302° F. The seal helps to keep the heat and smoke out from the inside of the safe.
But do not think the seal will keep the safe safeguarded against water. It will not! The only way to waterproof the safe is to seal it up completely. However, when fully sealed it will cause a massive buildup of pressure and leaves no escape for the swelling causing it to explode.
A fire safe pumps moisture into the interior and causes a steam cloud and prevents content such as documents and money not to burn. So what can you do waterproof your safe to keep things nice and dry? We are here to help with some interesting tips that will not cost you an arm and a leg.
How to Keep Your Items Watertight in Your Gun Safe
To ensure the safe is watertight there are different steps you can follow to prevent water damage. The first thing you need to do is to place the safe in an area that offers excellent protection if you happen to have a flood.
Get the Gun Safe Up Off the Floor
The higher the safe is from the floor, the better protected it is from water damage caused by flooding. If you have placed the safe in the basement, it is prone to flooding from water in any situation from fires, natural disasters, and broken plumbing in the home.
Here you can use a concrete or steel platform to secure the safe up off the floor. Prevent using wood as it holds back water and rots. Furthermore, it can damage in a fire, or you can have an infestation of insects making their home in the timer. Not only does the wood damaged quick, but it is also difficult to secure to the floor.
Build a concrete platform and use rebar to anchor the safe to the platform. If you are great at welding, you can create a steel platform you can secure to the floor and bolt the safe securely. The fantastic thing is when you move you can take the stand with you.
Make Sure To Mount the Safe on a Moisture Barrier
Maybe you have a cheap gun safe then you know it has minimal paint and not protected on the bottom from corrosion. If you did have some protection, the likeliness is you scraped it off by now during the installation.
If you decided to mount it on a concrete slab, it would hold moisture in a non-climate-controlled area. The best is to place a moisture barrier under the safe. You need to use a strong enough barricade to withstand the weight. Consider using a hard rubber stall mat.
You can even use a vapor barrier used in construction such as vinyl siding as it offers excellent protection against corrosion. Now you need to do the second and most crucial step, and that is to prevent moisture buildup in the safe.
Make the Safe Heat and Moisture Resistant on The Inside
Once the gun safes securely lifted off the floor, it is time to think about the interior of the safe. The biggest enemy of any firearm is moisture. Dampness causes the parts of the gun to rust leading to malfunction of the weapon.
You can look at a GoldenRod or a low watt light bulb placed inside the safe to keep the moisture out, but it does need power. The dehumidifier helps reduce humidity and makes the safe interior slightly warmer. Additionally, it reduces the inside temperature fluctuations throughout the day.
The dehumidifier you place on the floor and create a convection air current on the inside. Another benefit is it needs no maintenance while the powers on. The problem is that if you have a power cord running on the exterior of the safe, it will come in the way of the floodwater.
The second options to use a desiccant dehumidifier. The product works the same as the silica gel packets found in shoeboxes and absorbs moisture. You will have to replace the desiccant periodically, or you can place it in the oven to recharge.
The chemical in the desiccant is corrosive and best not to let the container break and get in contact with your guns. Therefore, we recommend you use an electric dehumidifier.
Seal the Holes and Door of the Safe
Waterproofing a gun safe is a dubious task, but it does not mean you cannot keep the moisture out. Get yourself a tube of high-temperature silicone caulk or RTV. Use it to seal the holes in the bottom of the safe and the electrical access hole. Further, you can improvise a door seal on the lower portion of the door. You need to use high-temperature material like the silicone used to seal up the holes that is helpful in a fire.
However, there is a word of warning when using door seals on cheap gun safes. You need to be careful, especially if the safe has an electronic lock. You do not want to hold pressure against the door when you close it. The tension on the back acts against the locking bolts and needs extra force to open and close the safe.
The pressure causes problems with the electronic locking mechanisms shear pins and clutches. They prevent or limit the extra force transmitted to the door handle and locking bolts. When this happens, the mechanism fails and prevents you from opening the door.
The best solution is to place the seals on the outer edge of the door and causes less bolt work issues.
When it comes to natural disasters such as a hurricane, you can place your handguns in waterproof containers. Depending on your storage configuration, you can insert the buttstock or muzzle in buckets but will not seal the top. The problem is the plastic is not susceptible to heat in a fire, and you can remove it after a hurricane has surpassed.
Additionally, you can elevate the firearms on the inside of the safe using a hook-and-loop fastener system. You can use a retention device such as the MacGyversism. Coat the guns with a rust preventive solution and place them in a drying-agent gun sock with a non-electrical desiccant inside.
The majority of wall mounted gun safes are out of reach of water to a certain point and not watertight. Here you need to consider placing items that you want to take with you in case of a disaster. You can even put your papers, manuals, and media in waterproof containers.
The containers used needs to have a melting point above 350-degrees F. Alternatively you can buy a small waterproof gun safe to place inside the big safe. You need to make sure the gun safe has passed a waterproof test. By using these methods, you can ensure that vital item protected from water damage.
So How Do You Plan on Making Your Gun Safe Watertight
Are you facing a hurricane? We recommend you keep some flex seal handy to seal your safe (and make a boat of the screen door and head for the higher ground.) Jokes aside with the solutions in the article you may not be able to waterproof the safe completely, but you will be able to keep your firearms, ammunition, and essential documents secure during a fire or natural disaster.