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I'm based in Scotland and have a 40 foot by 10 foot tongue and groove shed that is used to store clothes for my business. It sits slightly above ground on a wooden base. I have added a metal roof on top of the existing wooden one. Inside I have put in a false floor and I've also screwed plywood over joists on ceiling.

On the walls all around I’ve firstly left an air gap of 2 inches before fitting in foam insulation sheets then stapled VC moisture barrier silver backed foil to joists before screwing plywood onto the joists and lastly used sealant to seal every little gap.

The problem is that in winter it is freezing and summer stifling hot And after a few years now I’m starting to smell a stale dampness and worried that it will transmit to my clothes stock.

So my question is should I heat or dehumidify put in air vents or all

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2 Answers 2

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You have to decide whether the relative humidity of your environment is adequately dry for your storage needs. If not, you have to reduce moisture. We can't really say what's right for you.

It sounds like you have the space sealed up fairly well. For that reason I'd consider just using some bulk desiccant. It won't cost electricity and you won't have to worry about emptying buckets or pluming a drain line. If the building isn't very well sealed or you open doors frequently this could get expensive.

The best bet might be a window air conditioner. This would cool and dry the interior while keeping the generated heat outside.

Otherwise you could run a dehumidifier, but that creates heat and you'll probably want to plumb the drain line out somewhere. You wouldn't want to dehumidify and ventilate because you'd never catch up. This means the heat stays inside until it is conducted out through the building envelope.

I don't see ventilation being a great option. By reducing the interior temperature you may actually increase the relative humidity, and you introduce more mold spores than you'd have otherwise.

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  • Climate in Scotland is cold and wet in winter and mild and wet in summer with the odd heatwave ie above 25 Celsius
    – George
    Dec 15, 2020 at 15:33
  • The shed is watertight and probably too airtight therefore the dehumidifier sounds best with the only issue being the heat generated From the appliance
    – George
    Dec 15, 2020 at 15:38
  • Average temperature in winter is 5 or 6 Celsius going down to minus 10. in summer It ranges from 10 or 11 up to 25 overall it has a wet climate though. There is no sign of Mold
    – George
    Dec 15, 2020 at 15:48
  • In the last two years Since I’ve built shed we have had a couple of milder winters where around 5 or 6 HAS been the average but we do usually have minuses of 5 to 10 and where it’s not close to your regular winter temperature it’s certainly no paradise as unlike new York there is a dampness here that is not pleasant and has a rotting effect on everything not treated which is why I’m going to such lengths with my sheds.
    – George
    Dec 15, 2020 at 17:13
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First measure the relative humidity and dew point of your storage area, then make the call on what you need to do.

Things you could consider

  • Installing a dehumidifier/Airconditioner
  • Vacuum sealing your stock in plastic so you dont waste energy actively maintaining the humidity.
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  • The vacuum sealing in plastic is a stellar idea. Make sure the clothes are totally dry first! Maybe some dessicant in the bag if you are not sure.
    – Willk
    Dec 16, 2020 at 19:33
  • My guess is that 1) there's a lot of clothing, and 2) the stock gets rotated or used regularly. This makes vacuum sealing less than ideal.
    – isherwood
    Dec 16, 2020 at 20:00

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