Safe in a dank garage

Discussion in 'Gun Safes & Secure Storage' started by GuyBMeredith, Mar 20, 2016.

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  1. aljames

    aljames
    Rogue Valley
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    About ten years ago I learned a very expensive lesson. I had a Amsec 7240 installed in my new homes garage. Safe company recommended a combination of a dryrod and several rechargeable desiccant packs. I had quite a few spendy sticks residing safely in there.....Or so I thought.

    One year I decided to take a trip up to Alaska for a few weeks in the spring. When I came back I was so busy that I didn't go out right away and inspect the safe contents. About a week or 10 days later I wanted to go shoot so I cracked open the safe and just about had a heart attack from what I saw. Come to find out the dryrod had burned out at some point while I was gone, which then allowed the desiccant packs to load up with moisture. At that point all of the moisture and cold air was allowed to hang out in a steel box for anywhere from 1 day to about 1 month. The result was probably the most depressing moment of my adult life. The rust grew up the guns from the floor and made it about 3 feet up every gun in the safe. The ones towards the door were the worst. I ended up selling about 30k worth or rusted guns for around 10k with full disclosure of what had happened.

    Lessons learned.....no safes on concrete unless the area is heated AND a moisture barrier is installed, don't trust Dryrods to keep your stuff dry AND desiccant packs get loaded up faster than an alcoholic at an open bar if not accompanied by a functioning dryrod.

    Since then I am a firm believer in having a safe inside. I still have the same precautions in place and check things out regularly. Including reaching down and putting my bare hand on the dryrod to make sure that its actually hot to the touch. Being in a climate controlled area gives you an extra safety margin when everything else fails. Concrete wicks moisture by nature. Just my depressing .02! YMMV;)
     
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  2. jbett98

    jbett98
    NW Oregon
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    $17.99 at Walmart. At a glance you'll know what's going on inside your safe.

    7ced8d7d-94f6-4fb5-ad7b-335e21d46a8b_1.5462d18585c256a7c431ec905b0fc121.jpg
     
  3. NCW_Robert

    NCW_Robert
    Wenatchee
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    There are some pretty nifty monitoring systems available, mostly aimed towards server rooms but they can be used easily for a gun safe.

    Below I posted a amazon link that shows quite a few of these.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_19?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=server+room+temperature+monitor&sprefix=server+room+monitor,aps,297&crid=2USMHY609F1S3&rh=i:aps,k:server+room+temperature+monitor

    These are a lot more then $17.95 though. I think I would install one of these newer types if I did travel much. As of now I just user a version similar to the one jbett98 posted.

    The modern versions I would use hook up via network cable, but wifi versions are also available.

    I had an older version installed that would call me and then play a pre-configured announcement depending on what it sensed as a problem. It requires a home/business phone system [dial tone] though and I have went cellular so it no longer is hooked up, I am no longer using my spare bedroom as a server room and running an ISP from my house. I'm not using it as a safe monitor due to the phone system needed. I got tired of paying Verizon business phone rates and told them to go pound sand.

    The nice thing about these newer version is they can send alerts ether via email or text when set trigger points are reached such as temperature or humidity.

    I got security cams all over that I can log in remotely and view via a security type DVR. As of now when I travel I setup a cam and point it at a simple temperature humidity/monitor so when I remotely view the security system using my phone, I can switch to that cam and see the house temperature/humidity. Works OK if you remember to check it.

    ~
     
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  4. JunkCollector

    JunkCollector
    Hillsboro
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    I have had my current safe on the concrete floor for years without any issue, but the new one coming in will have an eva-dry in it. The garage does stay colder than the house, but never really gets below about 50 degrees unless I leave the main door open like an idiot. Never had any rust on any of my guns. Need to find some wood to knock on now.
     
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  5. usausausa

    usausausa
    Land of the free ?
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    Sounds like you live on flood plain or have ground water not to far down from the surface.
     
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  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    You have what is technically called a "non-dank" garage.
     
  7. NCW_Robert

    NCW_Robert
    Wenatchee
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    It is all about the dew point and when moisture will condense on metal, also, is there moisture to condense? In a garage, usually, yes there is more then in the house. My house is dry as hell, too dry in fact and it causes a lot of problems, specially for my wife who has some respiratory issues but my guns like it. I have a small humidifier in the bedroom that runs all night on full speed. if not for that my poor wife can hardly sleep due to the Sahara desert type [dry] air.

    I have lots of windows and each of them is a DE-humidifyer, put them all together and it is no wonder I have like 15% humidity in the house.

    Stuff does not rust in my garage, I can grind a section of steel and leave it "raw" and stow it in my metal rack and a yr later it is the same, with no rust. It seems guns are some kind of special metal that rust sooner and better then other types of metal. I know technically that is not true but sure seems like it some times. maybe it has to do with how much the metal is worth? Worth more = rust more.

    Even though regular steel does not rust in my garage, I'd still never place a gun safe in there. My garage is far more easy to bust into then my house and once in the gun safe could be chained to and yanked out and up ramps and into the back of a pick easily. if 59 yr old me could do it in 2 minutes a couple young crackheads jacked up on speed could do it in half that. In the house, not so easy as unless you first tear down the wall your not going to chain up to it with your old beat up F250 and yank it out.

    It is hard to get a heavy gun safe into a house but that is where movers come in with the tools necessary to get such a thing up or down steps and stairs etc.

    I made a 6 ft steel ramp that has skate board wheels so my safe could tip over and be slid up the ramp over the entry stairs, slid into the house and then wheeled into the spare room then slid off onto the floor and walked into a closet. Then bolted to the floor and back of the closet into the studs. Then I boxed it in with wood studs and an inner and outer layer of 3/4 plywood, not just drywall so there is no access to the sides. Yes it could be removed but it would take time. Motion sensor in the closet would go off within 30 seconds and all hell would break loose hopefully causing the bad guys to give up and leave. The bad, it will probably stay with the house when I move, oh well... the cost of dry safe-er guns

    ~
     
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  8. Tony617

    Tony617
    Washington State
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    I have a Liberty Safe Monitor that's connected to WIFI and it sends hourly updates. It show the relative humidity and temperature. I have it hooked up my cell phone so it detects lost WiFI connection, a safe door open, close or movement event it will SMS me. I do check my PEET circulating safe drier so see if it working. I do have an analog Hygrometer and an EVA-Dry dehumidify since my humidity is a little over 50% in the fall and wintertime month. My garage floor is sealed as well and the place my safe it is dry. The monitor also shows the battery level as well so once it reaches 50% I replace the batteries.

    I do have insurance on all of my guns and an alarm system with a detector on the entry door so the alarm will go off it someone opens the door. Hopefully the alarm horn that is mounted in the attic will drive the thieves away since make a 120db shrieking sound
     
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  9. GuyBMeredith

    GuyBMeredith
    Salem, Oregon
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    Just a note to follow up. My Sturdy safe is in the back of the garage, bolted to the concrete floor with a structure between it and the wall to make putting a chain on difficult.

    When I am away on travel I leave a car snuggled up close to the safe to make access difficult. The car also blocks cabinets where I store tools just in case someone might have clever ideas on how to use them to break into the safe.

    I've elevated the safe on steel strips with more steel placed to hide/protect the bolts where they go through the gap. I have both Golden Rod and the rechargeable desiccant.
     
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  10. NCW_Robert

    NCW_Robert
    Wenatchee
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    Better Safes should be made like a fridge with a good door seal so they could hold something like 2lb pressure reliably. Then you could hook up a nitrogen tank and purge the air and have less chance for rust.

    Given the cost of certain fire arms etc, I wonder why some manufacture does not offer something like that.

    It really would not be hard to get a metal box like that to seal up reasonably well if it is/was made well and the seal was well designed.

    Then it would net matter what the humidity was outside the safe as inside could be airless warm [heated] and DRY.

    I guess wood stocks might not like it though, oh well...

    ~
     
  11. NW Backpacker

    NW Backpacker
    In the hills
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    Be careful with the nitrogen - if used in a small, poorly ventilated area such as a closet or small room it will displace oxygen and could kill you if you enter. In pure nitrogen you only get 1 or 2 breaths then you pass out - and if not moved to an area with oxygen, you'll die. :(
     
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  12. P7id10T

    P7id10T
    Dysfunction
    Turlututu chapeau pointu Gold Supporter 2018 Volunteer

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    Didna bother reading all the posts.
    Keeping a safe dry discussion is like the rustproofing discussions from 40 years ago.
    Here, IMO, experiential advice is worth a lot.
    Some garages are way more humid than others with higher levels of condensate.
    One of my safes is in the garage.
    40 watt incandescent with those moisture removers from Dollar Tree. I sealed the door with weathwrproofing seal. In 9 months, zero issue with moisture.
    YMMV
     
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  13. umrek

    umrek
    Snoqualmie, WA
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    How about a few of these to get it off the floor...if it's bolted down tight it may not make too much of a pry point.
    drycore.jpg
     
  14. Tony617

    Tony617
    Washington State
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    I see that Otis has metal defense bore sticks that are good for two years. I haven't not tried any:

    Metal Defense Bore Stick
     

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