Self Storage Tips During Winter
For those fortunate enough to live in areas of the country where winter temperatures do not reach freezing levels, consider yourself lucky. In northern areas of the United States, frigid temperatures could spell disaster for those utilizing self storage units, as cold air can sometimes be worsened within the confines of concrete or metal rooms. This can cause freezing damage to your stored items if the unit is not climate controlled.
Considering the fact that many people use self storage units as means to store seasonal items, protecting summer or spring products during the winter is crucial. Things like lawn mowers, bicycles, battery-operated items, or other electronics are all at risk of being damaged by exposure to the cold.
In electronics, fluctuating temperatures can create condensation, causing water damage that typically renders that item useless. For products that use any form of liquid, the freezing of said substance is very likely to expand and crack its surrounding foundation. This is common among most small engine vehicles like lawn mowers or motorcycles, and car batteries.
Keeping your self storage climate controlled is vital during winter months in order to properly protect all of your stored items. If the facility you currently rent a unit from does not already have climate control features installed (like central heating), there are a number of ways you can conserve heat within your unit. Insulation is perhaps the most cost effective way to keep optimal levels of warmth, lining the walls and ceiling with 6-8 inches of fiberglass insulation, though the thickness depends on your unit’s surroundings. Aim to have the indoor temperature anywhere from 55-85 degrees fahrenheit for adequate protection against freezing.
When storing items away for the colder seasons, there are a few things to consider beforehand as well. Be sure to repair any damaged items before storing them away for a long period of time. Anything cracked or awkwardly bent is susceptible to further damage due to the drop in temperature. Not only will this prevent any damage from worsening, but it will also save you the hassle of having to repair said items once the optimal seasons return.
Use cotton or wool covers for goods that may have more trouble staying warm. Vinyl or plastic wraps tend to lock in moisture causing water damage, and with the constant freezing and melting of snow and ice, this time of year could prove worse.
At the end of the day, it is your decision what you choose to store in your self storage unit during winter. However, it is important to consider which items are more at risk of freezing damage than others. Should you decide that most of your summer and spring items must be stowed away, take the proper precautions in guaranteeing their safety throughout the coldest time of year.