Storage units are not like a home or apartment; they are not a dwelling designed to accommodate living creatures, man or beast. Dwellings designed to accommodate humans are more air tight and have insulation to provide a more constant temperature. Most homes have some form of circulation to provide airflow and newer homes with AC draw air directly from the outside.
Storage units are designed to keep your belongings safe over short or long term rentals which can provide some challenges for the average person wanting to store their belongings.
Storage units don’t have the same type of door a home or even a garage door at a home has. Doors in your home have a weather tight seal all the way around the door to provide an air and water seal, as does a standard home garage door which has a seal all the way around the door but due to the design of most garage doors, provide a seal not as weather tight as standard human doors.
Storage units generally have a corrugated steel door that rolls up to the top of the door opening, the door rides in a U shaped channel and the only weather seal is at the bottom of the door. This is by design, if a storage unit is weather tight meaning it gets no air or water penetrating the units while the door is closed, this is a bad thing. Outside temperature changes will cause condensation to form inside the units and cause your stuff to mold.
Storage unit leases are similar to an apartment lease meaning the landlord doesn’t have access to your unit and does not provide cleaning services. This is important to note, if your unit is not opened and cleaned on a regular basis, dust and minor debris like leaves will accumulate around the door. Insects are also attracted to the immediate openings of the door due to light penetration and must also be managed.
We can prepare for the challenges presented by proper circulation to prevent mold by storing your belongings in the following fashion:
1. Provide an air gap between your belongings and the floor by using pallets or anything that will provide a space between your stuff and the concrete floor.
2. Place small and medium items inside boxes or even better, plastic bins.
3. Drape large items such as dressers, couches and appliances with a sheet, washable fabric, or plastic to provide a dust barrier.
4. Cover mattresses with a plastic mattress cover and never store multi-layered mattresses on their side or end, the layers can shift and ruin a perfectly good mattress. Best practices require multi-layered mattresses to be stored perfectly flat with nothing on top of them.
5. Roll the door down from the inside and clean the inside of the door and the immediate area around the door on a regular basis.
6. Use a disk or cylinder lock for a higher level of security.
7. Refrain from storing high dollar items such as jewelry or currency.
8. Inventory your belongings and keep a copy separate from your stored items.
As you rent your storage unit, keep these tips in mind and it will be sure to make your storage renting days a more pleasurable experience.