Merchandise Overflow: 5 Ways To Protect Clothing From Water Damage

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The typical American spent approximately $1,700 on clothes and related services in 2010. This number was cut back due to the stagnant economy, but has since risen. It may now be a good time to stock up on seasonal clothes to cater to the growing market. If you have found a great deal, you may have more merchandise than room available for storage. In these situations, renting a self-storage unit may be necessary. Clothing stored in self-storage units are vulnerable to environmental and elemental factors. Here are 5 ways you can protect your overflow of merchandise from water damage.

Keep All Clothes Off of the Floor

The first area to be affected by floods or water leakages will be the floors, so keeping all of your merchandise off of the floor is a good start. Chances are that the clothes will come packaged in sealed plastic containers or cardboard boxes. Keep all of these boxes off of the floor by using wood pallets for elevation. This will also improve air circulation, and allow excess moisture accumulating in the unit to easily disperse.

Use Plastic Cloth Covers

If you'll be hanging any of your more expensive merchandise on racks in the self-storage units, don't skimp out on plastic cloth covers. There are many cheap options available that will do an effective job in keeping dirt, dust, insects and excess moisture away from the fabric. Although the plastic cloth covers do not necessarily have to be expensive, look for ones that don't have seams, as these areas are vulnerable to water leakages.

Choose a Well-Ventilated Unit

Most self-storage units with climate-control features tend to be well-ventilated; however, it doesn't hurt to take a look at the units ahead of time to determine whether the units are truly as well-ventilated as advertised. Look for ducts and other types of ventilation systems. It's best to opt for units that provide a dark and dry atmosphere without any windows.

If you are still concerned about the ventilating abilities of the unit, you should consider purchasing humidity monitors. These monitors will record the relative humidity within the unit at different times during the day for you to get a better idea of whether the unit may be too humid.

Purchase Mothballs and Cedar Blocks to Ward Off Insects

Moths and carpet beetles love to feed on animal-based fabric, such as wool, silk and even cotton. Ward off these pests to prevent them from doing some major damage to your merchandise by purchasing mothballs and cedar blocks. You can scatter some around the unit and also in any boxes or sealed bags containing the clothes.

Remove Excess Moisture with Silica Gel

It also never hurts to be extra careful. Prevent excess moisture from accumulating within the unit and inside any containers or boxes containing your merchandise with silica gel packets. The small silica gel beads will absorb excess moisture in its environment. Make sure you replace these packets regularly. Most experts recommend purchasing silica gel packets with built-in indicators. These indicators measure the amount of moisture that has already been absorbed, and will change colors when the silica gel packets have reached their maximum capacity.


Don't miss out on great deals and sales at warehouses simply because you don't have excess storage room for the overstock of merchandise. There are plenty of affordable self-storage units where you can keep your merchandise for the time being. Just make sure you are diligent in ensuring that your merchandise is protected from environmental and elemental conditions and factors. In particular, you want to take the necessary precautions to prevent your merchandise from water damage. For more about this topic, contact a storage unit facility near you.