“Out of sight, out of mind” is never truer than when it comes to things stored elsewhere– the assumption is your property will be in the same condition when you pull it out of storage as it was when you put it into storage, without your having to constantly monitor it. Isn’t that the very definition of storage, after all?
It’s precisely because you’re going to be leaving your furniture, antiques and other property relatively un-monitored that you need to do your homework up front when choosing a storage facility—if you don’t, you probably won’t even know damage is occurring until it’s way too late.
So what should you look for when choosing a Mini-Storage facility? Tour the place yourself, and look for signs of risk of possible exposure to damage over time, not just what’s immediately visible to the naked eye.
How Low Is the Land?
Mini-Storage facilities are usually built on cheap, low-lying land, and their foundations are often concrete, which can be a recipe for disaster! Low-lying areas are prone to flooding, which is an obvious red flag, so be sure to check on whether your particular facility is in a flood plain or area that has any history of water problems. If there is moisture concrete will wick it right up to your furniture. Wool & cardboard love moisture the two together will ruin a great deal of your precious belongings.
What’s the Foundation?
To compound things, in spite of its outwardly hard texture, concrete is actually a very porous material, and the natural wicking effect of a concrete foundation in a wet zone means your furniture, antiques and property are at risk if they’re standing on concrete. The solution: Store your property at least 6”-8” off the ground on racks or in sealed vaults to avoid seepage of water up from the concrete floor into your things where it can ruin them.
How Controlled is the Climate?
Finally, even if your property is on six-foot-high pedestals, if the storage unit is extremely humid, or becomes damp due to leakage when it rains, then your things are at risk. Antiques often weather less-than-ideal conditions better than you might think, because they’ve already been exposed over the years to extremes—they were often made before the advent of central heat and air, so any effects from changes in temperature and humidity manifested long before they became valuable.
But even so, the potential for ruinous damage exists, and there are limits to how controlled the climate of any storage facility can be, so be sure you fully understand the parameters of your unit’s climate control features, including whether they could fail entirely and what the facility’s procedures are for dealing with a catastrophic failure. Would you even know if there was a problem?
Wrapping Isn’t Just for Presents
The most common kind of damage that happens in Mini-Storage is entirely preventable – scratches, nicks, scrapes and gouges can ALL be avoided if you wrap your property in easy-to-find, simple-to-use protective coverings. Moving blankets, cloth pads, clear plastic coverings and plastic storage bins are a worthwhile investment when you’re storing items for a longer time, because they don’t lose their integrity over time the way newspaper and cardboard can.
For Best Results, Choose Wisely
Never forget, your mini-storage is the place where your valued property is going to be, without your directly seeing it, for a long time. Damage can (and will) happen whether you’re there to see it or not, so it’s incumbent on you to make sure you take a long, hard look at where your belongings will be before you let them be “out of sight, out of mind.” Skimping before storing might mean you end up paying good money to a facility that ends up ruining your property—don’t let that happen to you. For most customers a better alternative is professional storage provided by a reputable mover, see example.
To find out more concerning Mini-storage headaches call 334-262-6666 or fill out the to the right. We are here to help.