Storing food in a basement

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    At the beginning of the summer I finished my basement. We coated the floor with garage floor sealant and then covered it with a very thin carpeting just to make it a bit more comfy. We also painted all the walls with a latex sealant and then painted (with regular paint) over that. I thought the basement would be good to go since it seemed solid up to that point as we never had any water leaks or problems even though we got a ton of rain this spring and summer.

    This summer I started putting canned goods and such down there. So, boxes of canned goods have been sitting there for a few months. I left boxes stacked on the floor and planned to organize it all in early fall. I just got some storage racks put together and was starting to get things put in their appropriate place today. When I was picking up boxes from the floor, I noticed that the cardboard was just slightly moist on the bottom boxes. Also, some of my homemade canned goods had that white mold film on the outside of the glass jars. I guess I underestimated the role of humidity coming from the floor in the basement. It stays closed up for the most part, but it’s not air tight. It’s always much cooler down there. Temps are usually in the 50’s or maybe low 60’s on hot days. I guess I should’ve kept the dehumidifier down there b/c I checked a plastic tote (that was on the floor) that had 6 packs of salt in it (along with some other things) and the salt was hard as a rock and the paper on the bottom of them looked moist. Grrrrrrr! So glad salt is cheap! The salt I stored in a bucket was fine.

    So here’s some lessons learned for anyone considering doing the same thing.

    1. Keep a humidity reader in your basement on the floor.
    2. Keep a dehumidifier in your basement!
    3. Don’t store anything directly on the floor, even if it’s in a tote.
    4. Keep in mind that totes won’t keep air out of the box. Only sealed buckets will do that.
    5. Keep things stored on racks to keep things off the floor and make it easier to keep an eye on things.
    6. Don’t just store it and forget it. You have to keep checking things to make sure they are holding up OK.

    I’m glad I found all of this out before I started storing my books and photos down there. Once I get the excess water out of the air and keep the dehumidifier on, i’m hoping it will be problem solved. I guess I should’ve invested in floor padding……too late now.

    Irene Gold

    Yeah!! You should have invested into the floor padding more, as,garage floor is the place which suffers the most during repairing of the vehicles. I liked your concept of having a garage floor sealant and then coated it with carpet, in the form of giving comfort. Now also you can take some helpful hints from the flooring contractors about installing the padding floors, as of now, I know it’s too late, but they will surely have some ideas about it.

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