How to prevent humidity build-up when storing guns?

Jeremy Bowyer
Written By Jeremy Bowyer

Jeremy Bower is a generational survivalist and expert outdoorsman.

Nowadays, firearms are incredibly well-engineered tools that resist thousands of pounds of pressure that is generated when the gun powder burns to propel a projectile down the barrel and on toward its target. Regardless of their durability and strength, firearms are exposed to moisture damage. That’s why every gun owner has to store their weapons in a dry location, which for most, means purchasing a gun safe. A vault is the best and safest place to store firearms, but that’s doesn’t exclude the possibility of damage due to temperature changes and a lack of airflow.

This problem can be solved relatively easily by purchasing a product that will dehumidify the safe. Considering how much we pay for our weapons and gun safes, purchasing an item that will protect them from humidity and damage is quite inexpensive. In today’s article, we’ll talk about preventing humidity buildup when storing guns and answering the most frequently asked questions regarding the subject.

Is humidity bad for guns?

The safest place for a firearm is a temperature-controlled environment that isn’t subject to significant changes in temperature between day and night. If you can’t control the temperature in your gun storage, condensation and evaporation will occur and that will moisture to get in and damage your valuables. When you are choosing a spot to place your gun safe, we strongly advise you to avoid putting it close to your bathroom or laundry room since those areas are susceptible to dampness.

Humidity Guns

Said in the simplest way possible, humidity is very dangerous for your firearms, and you should prevent it so that you’re guns aren’t damaged. Moisture can cause rust and corrosion. It can even foster mold growth, which leads to a variety of problems from health issues to structural damage in your home for you and your possessions. Please don’t waste the hundreds of dollars you’ve spent on gear and protect them from humidity damage.

What is the best humidity for gun storage?

When you’ve spent a fortune on your firearms and storage, you want to make sure that the humidity levels will be right, so your belongings don’t get damaged. To be able to check those levels, you will need a hygrometer which monitors the temperature around your safe and inside your home. You can buy one form your local drugstore, and don’t worry about the price since these devices are quite inexpensive.

The best humidity level for most gun storage solutions is around 50%

Being a little bit below or above is still considered satisfactory. You don’t want to find your firearms covered in rust and corrosion, and to prevent that, you need to take care of the moisture. Figuring out the right levels for your gun safe depends on your surrounding climate since a warm and dry environment won’t have as much moisture and humidity. Remember that when we’re talking about humidity, staying in the middle is what you want and need because low and high levels can both harm your valuables.

Do I need a dehumidifier in my gun safe?

Gun Safe

A lot of people ask the same question, and in most cases, the answer is yes. There are very few situations in which you won’t need to install a dehumidifier, but are you willing to take the risk of damaging your valuables? We wouldn’t because a dehumidifier costs way less than your gun safe and firearms.

Spend a little to protect your belongings and avoid mold, mildew, and rust. The easiest way to find out if you need a dehumidifier is to measure the humidity level inside the safe with a hygrometer. You can ensure your dehumidifier is properly working by using the hygrometer as well. If the moisture level inside your storage is above the acceptable levels, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. Don’t be irresponsible and make sure that your firearms and gun safe are rust and corrosion-free. Spend a little to protect a lot!

How to keep moisture out of gun safes?

As a gun owner, controlling moisture inside your small gun safe and preventing rust and corrosion is essential. No one wants to waste the money they’ve spent, that’s why protecting your valuables from humidity is important. We’ve prepared a list with methods you can use to keep moisture out from your storage.

1. Dehumidifiers

Humidity Control

Today you can find numerous dehumidifiers that can keep moisture away from inside and outside your safe. Most of them are quite affordable and easy to install. They come in different types and sizes, depending on your specific needs. There are electric and desiccant dehumidifiers, both with their pros and cons. What they do is heat the space they are put into a temperature that keeps the humidity in good condition, which itself prevents the moisture from building up, by stopping rust and corrosion.

2. Silica Gel Packs

Silica Gel

One of the cheapest ways to prevent moisture from damaging your weapons is by using Silica gel packs, which are these tiny crystals that prevent it from spreading. The gel absorbs all the moisture, and most packs last for a couple of weeks. They are affordable and easy to find. You don’t need to install them or use electricity, but keep in mind that they can damage the surface if they come in direct contact with metal. 

Built-in sealant system

The built-in sealant system is made of foam, caulking, and silicone and is placed inside the doorjamb. By doing so, they prevent moisture from rising inside and keep your safety box rust and corrosion-free. They work by using these sealants, which don’t allow humidity to pass through the case, and this way, keep your valuables safe.

Room air conditioning

This method is pretty straightforward and requires you to put your gun safe in an air-conditioned room in your house. That’s another way to prevent moisture from getting inside your safety box. If you choose this option, keep in mind that you’ll have to open your vault frequently.

Can a gun safe be too dry?

Gun safe too dry

Every gun owner should take care of their firearms and biometric gun safes. One of the most important ways to do so is to prevent moisture, which means your safety box can neither be to dry or too humid. Yes, a gun safe can be too dry, but it won’t pose as much of a problem as moisture. However, that doesn’t mean we should ignore it.

There is a tool called a hydrometer that keeps a precise watch on the humidity level of your gun safe, and your goal is 50%. Everything in between 40% and 60% is fine, but nothing below or above will do any good for your valuables, because that’s when things start to damage inside. If you live in a warm and dry area, you can purchase dry-pack, which will prevent steel and wood damage inside your vault.

Are dehumidifier rods safe?

Gun Dehumidifier rod

There are many ways to maintain the proper humidity levels in your gun safe, but one of the most popular ones is by using dehumidifier rods. What they do is slightly increase and control the air temperature inside the safety box or other enclosed spaces. That allows the warm air to circulate throughout the vault on a frequent basis, eliminating humidity, mildew, and condensation.

Dehumidifying rods are safe to use, however, there are a few things you should know before purchasing one. Firstly rods heat up, which makes the metal they are made of warm-up quickly, which might not work for you if your safety box is very small. Why do you ask? Because if the space you’re using it for is too small, it’s not a good idea to keep ammo inside since it can explode. If your gun safe is big enough, dehumidifying rods are something to consider because they are easy to install and don’t require any maintenance.

Does baking soda absorb moisture?

Baking Soda

Nowadays, gun safes have become an irreversible part of every gun owner’s safety and security. Spending hundreds of dollars, sometimes even thousands, can be a complete waste if you don’t maintain appropriate humidity inside it. Since excessive humidity can cause a lot of damage to your valuables, you have to find a way to prevent it. 

If the air-flow and the temperate inside the safe box are somehow regulated, moisture will spawn rust and corrosion inside. The most accessible and affordable option to limit that is by using baking soda, which contains Sodium Bicarbonate that helps absorb moisture. Assuming you choose this method to dehumidify your gun safe, you have to check on the backing soda often and change it, if it has stopped absorbing moisture. As this a home-made version of a dehumidifier, it might not be the best one, but it will still do the job if you maintain it properly.

Final words

​Maintaining the overall condition of your gun safe is essential for preventing excess moisture from seeping inside. Don’t waste the money you’ve spent on firearms and storage, and if you see any signs of corrosion or rust, take the necessary measures to keep your valuables damage-free. The best thing you can do is purchase a dehumidifier and a hydrometer to ensure nothing goes wrong with your weapons and belongings. Knowing how to prevent rust and corrosion is the first step in protecting your firearms and safety box. If you want your valuables to stay in good condition, you have to take care of them.

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