Leather sofas are not cheap, so if you're paying to place one in a storage unit, it's essential to take the right precautions to ensure it does not become moldy, cracked, or otherwise ruined during the storage period. Follow these tips, and your leather sofa should stay soft, supple and beautiful.
Do: Always choose climate-controlled storage.
While changes in temperature are not too hard on leather, changes in humidity are. All it takes is one moist day, and your leather sofa may emerge moldy and rotten. So, always choose climate-controlled storage for a leather sofa. You'll pay a bit more, but the humidity will be kept in check so you don't have mold or dryness issues.
Don't: Wrap the leather sofa in plastic.
You might think you're protecting your sofa with plastic, but you're really just trapping in any moisture that might be on the sofa or in the air immediately surrounding it. Leather needs to breathe in order to stay in good shape. Just drape it with thin, cotton material to keep the dust off. An old bed sheet works just fine if you don't want to pay for cotton furniture covers.
Do: Store the sofa on pallets.
Even if your sofa has wooden legs, you don't want to store it directly on the ground. Moisture can travel up the wood and into the leather if there's ever any water on the floor of the storage unit. (Even in indoor units, liquid can seep in if it's spilled in an adjacent unit.) So, place a few wooden pallets on the ground, cover them in a tarp to serve as a moisture barrier, and then place the sofa on top.
Don't: Over-oil the furniture before storing.
Oiling the furniture a few days before putting it in storage is a good idea. The oil will keep the leather from drying out, and it will fill the leather's pores so they don't fill with water from the air instead. But over-oiling is a bad idea, since the excess oil can go rancid and cause the leather to rot. Apply a light coat only, and wipe away any oil or leather conditioner that does not sink into the leather within a few minutes.
If you have additional concerns or questions about storing your leather sofa, try talking to the owner of the storage facility you're renting. Most have worked with numerous customers over the years and can tell you what has and has not worked well for those storing sofas. Click here to learn more about a furniture storage facility.