Preparing Your Storage Unit for Cold Weather
Posted on: December 20, 2019 | by: admin
The seasons are changing and so are your chores! It’s time to pack up your patio furniture and pull out your holiday decorations. It’s also the perfect time to evaluate your West Palm Beach storage facilities and to make sure your items are safe for the coming cold months.
Each season, a storage unit requires different precautions and preparations. When it comes to winter, you’re defending against rain and cold temperatures.
Here are our top recommendations to help you prepare your storage unit for cold weather.
Find the Best Storage Near You
When it comes to winterizing your storage unit, the first question you should ask is if you’re in the right place. Many go with whoever has the cheapest rates and call it a day. However, while your monthly price is undoubtedly a factor to consider, you also want to make sure that what you’re paying for actually works. Saving money isn’t as big of a deal if your property is damaged due to cold weather or poor conditions.
If you plan on visiting your storage unit often, make sure you store at a facility near you so you can easily access your belongings This will be particularly useful on rainy days when you don’t want to drive too far, but still need to grab some items.
Beyond proximity, you should contemplate what features your storage unit will need. Such features could possibly include a large elevator, first-floor units or temperature-controlled units.
A huge advantage of West Palm Beach storage units is that your items will be locked indoors, which means you have some control over the temperature and humidity levels. These units provide the peace of mind that your items are safe from both cold or hot weather.
Even if you can’t adjust the temperature settings inside your particular unit, the facility itself should have a set level perfect for anything you are storing. A climate-controlled unit will protect your items from harsh, freezing temperatures during winter, excessive heat during summer, and humidity during the wet months.
Ultimately, if you upgrade to a climate-controlled space, you don’t have as much weatherizing to do. Of course, you still want to make sure your unit is well-organized and clean, but you’ll avoid most of the concerns that exist in ordinary storage spaces.
Moreover, if you spend any time in your storage unit organizing, packing, etc., having a climate-controlled unit will ensure you stay warm regardless of the temperatures outside.
Winterize Your Storage Unit
While an indoor, climate-controlled storage unit might be the easiest way to keep your items safe from the elements, there are still many other actions you must take to winterize your unit.
Here are some tips to prepare your storage unit for some temporary bad weather:
Do a Pre-Winter Check
Before winter even hits, it’s a good idea to inventory everything that you have in storage. If you’ve packed your unit correctly, you’ll have labeled boxes, bags, and shelving units that can help you determine what items may need your attention.
If you notice any boxes or storage containers that look worn or damaged, this is a good time to replace them. Any additional humidity in the storage unit can cause mold. It’s easier to prevent this from happening than repairing damage after the fact.
Adding to Storage
It’s also important to inventory items at home that need storing for the winter. If you need to move clutter or furniture out of the house for the holidays, make sure to bring them to the storage unit before the snow begins to fall.
It will be more difficult to load and unload cargo when the weather is already harsh and cold. Not to mention, it will be unsafe to drive a heavily-packed car on wet, slippery roads.
Arrange Your Belongings
One of the best things you can do to prepare for the coldest of nights is to get your stuff off of the ground. Use wooden pallets and shelves to elevate your most valuable possessions. You should also make sure that your items are not pressed against the wall where the cold air is the strongest. Finally, grab a few furniture pads or wool blankets to cover your things.
Get a Weatherproof Lock
The safety of your stuff is only as good as the quality of the lock you use. Most storage units have locks for sale or provide with a standard lock for your unit. These are often sufficient in normal temperatures, but they may not hold out when it’s freezing cold.
Some locks will freeze when the temperature drops. That could mean someone else could quickly gain access to your unit by shattering the brittle metal. On the other hand, freezing a lock could destroy the mechanism inside so no one can get in, including you.
Weatherproof locks cost a little more than the ones sold at the storage facility, but they are worth the investment. There’s no price on avoiding the miserable scenario of finding out you’ve been robbed over Christmas.
Know Your Stuff
Of course, the key to organizing your storage unit is knowing what’s actually in there. This way, you can decide what will survive storage, or what you need to take home for safekeeping until the weather breaks. Here are some sensitive items which you should pay attention to:
If you are using your storage unit to house delicate items of legal, financial, or sentimental value, you don’t want to lapse. Trading cards, photographs, important documents, etc. should be wrapped in plastic and sealed tightly.
Liquid expands when it freezes, which can cause damage to items in your storage unit. From boxes of soda you’re storing for the next family reunion to your collection of snow globes, you’ll want to insulate these items.
Throw a thick layer of wool or similar cloth to keep liquid items warm. You might also want to lay down a tarp and move them to a corner far from the rest of your belongings. In the case their containers freeze and break, the liquid won’t get on everything else you own.
Remember that vehicles also contain liquid: gas, oil, water, etc. If you’re storing cars, boats, dirt bikes, etc., make sure they are free of liquid. If you’re not sure how to winterize these items, entrust them to a local shop.
Battery cells have liquid inside of them that can freeze, crack, and expand the battery. Make sure to take the batteries out of anything that uses them. You should also try to store electronics in a snug box with plenty of packing materials. If you have the original boxes, use those to best protect these items.
If you are storing wooden furniture, make sure it is dry before the cold temperatures hit. Wrap the wood pieces in plastic wrap or a good blanket to help prevent mold and mildew.
Ask for Advice
If you’re not sure how to prepare your storage unit for winter, you can ask the facility manager for additional tips or warnings concerning self-storage in West Palm Beach. They may be able to provide you with additional tips on where to get weatherproof locks and warn you about potential storage risks.
Winter is on its way. To ensure that your belongings make it to the next season, make sure to winterize your storage unit correctly. This might also be the right time to consider upgrading to a temperature-controlled unit.