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Gun safe in garage in humid/cold climate?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by trbon8r, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. trbon8r

    trbon8r Well-Known Member

    I'm relocating to Maryland later this month. We just bought a house and I'm trying to decide on the best location for my safe. The only practical place for it is in the garage or possibly the basement. Will the summer humidity and winter cold cause problems even if I use a Golden Rod? Keep in mind this house is a rock's throw from the Chesapeake Bay, so moisture is everywhere. I was also thinking about getting a dehumidifier for the garage, although I'm not sure how effective it would be since garages usually aren't too well insulated?

    Would I be better off dragging this safe downstairs to an unfinished basment which is non-climate controlled?
  2. DesertShooter

    DesertShooter Well-Known Member

    If you're going to put it in the garage, I'd suggest that you place either 2"x4" or 2"x6" boards underneath the safe, so that the steel is off of the concrete. You can still bolt it down, but the space between the steel and concrete floor will allow for some ventilation. Also, if you're going to place the safe next to a wall, you probably should throw some insulation up and nail some drywall over it.

    The coldness won't be a factor, just the moisture and humidity levels. One of the long "Golden Rods" at the bottom of the safe should do just fine, or you could run either a 5- or 10-watt light bulb inside on a 24/7 basis. The "Golden Rod" will last longer, though.

    I live less than 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean, in So Cal, and there's a constant off-shore breeze, so I have to contend with the sea salt in the air. My safe is actually a walk-in vault, and I've had the longest version of the "Golden Rod" in it for 15+ years. So far, so good!

    Just make sure that you oil wipe your guns after handling them, and before they go into the safe.

    Oh, and if you have many 90-degree temp days, it might be best to "air-out" your safe every once in awhile, and make sure that the thin oil on all of your guns is still giving good coverage.
  3. stevelyn

    stevelyn Well-Known Member

  4. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    Rather than using wood under your unit, you might want to think about what we call a security base.

    Measure the outside width, depth of your unit. Then subtract 1/2" from the depth dimension. Have a local shop weld 2" square tubing to your dimensions with a pair of good corner braces in there.

    This gets your container up off the garage floor & prevents rust on the bottom. It allows you to run a cord up into the interior for the goldenrod. Seal the hole with hi-temp RTV. Most important, it prevents somebody from easily getting under your unit with a pallet jack or forklift. The corner braces are to prevent the sides from getting bent in & allowing a lift point to be obtained that way.

    Our shop offers them as an option made to each safe we sell. They aren't expensive at all compared to losing the entire container, full of your prized guns. I highly doubt it'd be cost effective to order one through me, probably much cheaper to have a local shop do it & paint it with industrial black paint. We sell at $200.00, & make a little money, but not a whole bunch. That should give you an idea as to what a reasonable cost should be.

  5. MAKster

    MAKster Well-Known Member

    basement floor

    If the gun safe is on concrete in a temperature controlled basement is it still necessary to elevate it off the floor?
  6. weregunner

    weregunner Well-Known Member

    Having lived in the Tidewater area(Hampton, Va.) I kept the safe on the first floor and would not put it in the garage or in the basement. Torrential down pours being quite common, would flood the garages and basements more than not. Even with being on the highground , hurricane storm surge or local flooding from the heavy rains would inundate completely all storage areas. This could be from a few inches of water to room high depth flooding. Maybe this isn't a factor where you are. Lessons from Hurricane Hugo had me put gun safes on the highest ground possible. I put dessicant inside the locker and frequently oiled and rubbed down with a silicone cloth all firearms. Never had a rust problem. Had a dehumidefier on the first floor.
  7. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    I'd suggest getting it off the concrete. Are you absolutely sure the basement will never have water in it? Are you positive the drain will never plug?

  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    Basements can be very iffy, unless you're way up high on a hill. Central Virginia and Hampton Roads had a bunch of rain this weekend. Hampton Roads was reporting 12.5 inches last I heard. This pic is from the Hampton paper.


    Living near the Bay is worse, especially if you're in a location that's exposed to the nor'easters churning up the coast.
  9. trbon8r

    trbon8r Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info everyone.

    CB900F, your idea for the security base. My brother in law could build one of these up pretty easy.

    I guess the garage will be the spot I put the safe, I'll try using a dehumidifier in the garage and control the atmosphere the best I can.

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