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fur storage question


1mikeborden
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Hi,

 

I'm considering building a storage room for some furs for a client. There are some fur collars and some full-length coats but beyond that I am not sure of fur type. I've been doing some research and my thoughts so far are listed below. If anyone can offer input, advice or correction I would appreciate it very much.

 

Client is on Cape Cod with a fully subterranean poured concrete basement. There are two main aspects I am trying to address: temperature and humidity, with an ancillary category of materials.

 

Temperature: Mean basement temperature is 56 F with a high of 65 F and a low of 47 F. The area under consideration is a 9 X 9 foot alcove. In order to take advantage of the stable temperatures of mother earth I would construct a room with insulation only on the ceiling and the one wall which faces the main basement space. The floor and the 3 walls which abut buried concrete would remain uninsulated so as to allow the earth to keep temperatures stable. There are basement wine cellars constructed in this manner which maintain temperatures between 50 and 60 F. I will install LED lighting to minimize heat input and an exterior grade insulated door.

 

Humidity: Average relative humidity hovers around 70% and I know that this is far too high. Nearly all of the moisture is pulled into the space through the concrete (there are no active leaks). In order to rectify this I plan to use plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier just underneath the wall boards on the inside of the room, both walls and ceiling. I will leave the floor without a vapor barrier so that there will be a moisture source and build in a dehumidifier to keep the humidity at 50%. The dehumidifier's condenser will be outside of the room so that there is no heat input.

 

I plan to line the closet with Eastern Red Cedar. I understand that cedar typically draws moisture out of fur skins causing premature deterioration. I am hopeful that the vapor barrier just beneath the cedar will prevent this from happening once the moisture content of the cedar equals that of the room (50% RH). Cedar then would be a benefit as it is very rot and mold resistant. I am uncertain of any adverse effects that the distinctive scent of cedar may impart to the furs.

 

Grateful for any information!

 

peace,

 

mike

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Mike...

 

I am pretty sure that some others more qualified than me will reply to this. However, I will reply as well, but don't have time at the moment. I just wanted to make sure that you don't think every one is avoiding you here. It just takes a little bit of time sometimes for people to think about posts such as this one.

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Sounds like you have considered most of the needed criteria. I am not an expert, but I think I vaguely remember something about cedar not being appropriate for fur storage. You might want to do additional research on that.

 

One thing I think should be considered during planning would be is there any possibility that the basement might flood or suffer a sewage backup? Any form of flooding of that basement could be disastrous to the contents of such a closet.

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Minkme,

 

Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that, since furs like to be stored cold at 50% relative humidity, leaving the floor unsealed would provide a much needed moisture source which would be controlled by a dehumidifier. All of the framing lumber that contacts concrete will be pressure treated so rot will not be an issue and the actual floor will sit 4 1/2 inches up from the concrete floor so it will take quite a flood to impact the closet contents.

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