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Bare metal objects stay cold in your basement because metal is not an insulator but rather, a "conductor". When warmer air from outside or from upstairs enters the cooler basement walls and floor, it becomes more humid due to shrinkage in volume as it reacts to the cooler temperatures. The natural moisture in the air becomes more concentrated because there is less air volume to absorb it. Moisture collects on the cool metal surfaces and allows rust to start forming.
Solution: Install a dehumidifier to automatically remove the excessive humidity as temperatures and atmospheric conditions change. Make sure your dehumidifier has a drainage hose rather than a pail that must be emptied and a de-icing feature to keep it from freezing up in the cooler areas. Make sure all doors and windows are kept permanently closed in your lower areas to prevent more humidity from entering the basement.
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