old bookseller trick – pallets

Someone asked me about storage..well he asked me about dampness and I gave him a science lecture. When you store books, most normally in cardboard boxes you have to worry about the rising damp.

books + h20 = BAD

• Moisture molecules are in the air, moisture molecules are everywhere…(if they weren’t your lungs would dry and crack and you’d be dead) The combination of air pressure and temperature control their migration in and out of objects.

• Books are made of seriously desiccated paper and cardboard boxes even more so.

Once you seal off an area, such as a storage unit, shipping container, or basement variances in pressure and temp cause the molecules to migrate and adhere to the non-porous surfaces, allowing the moisture to condense into actual WATER. This will in turn migrate into anything like cardboard that is just DYING to get remoisturized.

Moisture molecules are heavier than air and will gravitate towards the floor and since that’s colder then the surrounding area…it condenses into DAMPNESS. Regardless of what type of floor surface you have put the boxes on raised shipping pallets. This will allow at least a small distance between any condensation and the box bottoms. The raised area allows the moisture a slim chance of evaporating . . . but if you are in an tightly enclosed container. . . you will only create a perfect environment for mold and mildrew to thrive. Remember that stuff can lay dormant without moisture for a long time and once it gets wet it sprouts again….and then you have a bigger problem.

A dehumidifier is certainly a must have for any long term storage area.

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