Not all storage facilities are designed or maintained the same. Different storage conditions may be maintained by the storage facility staff, or it may be entirely up to the customer to inspect, maintain and improve upon the storage area. With many different features and price points, a few suggestions for storage unit inspection and preparations can help you make sense of the different options and figure out what you're willing to do for your storage unit.
Indoor Or Outdoor?
When choosing a storage unit, decide whether you want an outdoor storage system or an indoor facility, as well as the door type.
Indoor storage facilities have added security due to being in an enclosed building, adding one more layer of walls that a would-be thief has to get through. Although it's possible for an existing customer to be a thief or a member of a public to gain access during normal business hours, there's still a minimum level of added difficulty.
There is also weather to consider. The indoor facilities with units that are inside a larger building system have another layer of weather protection, meaning that you won't have to deal with rain or winds bearing directly against the door and/or exposed areas of the storage facility.
Outdoor units have the benefit of faster access. Instead of entering a building, you can entered a fenced area (if applicable) and can usually drive a vehicle next to the storage unit for extra access. Indoor facilities have vehicle access as well in some cases, but this is often limited to the back loading bay.
The door type is important to understand before purchasing a unit, and even more important for outdoor storage units. Many outdoor units utilize a rolling door system that has to be pulled down to meet a clamp at the bottom, which often allows air passage. Rainwater, splashing debris from trucks on rainy days and even pests can get inside, which won't be safe for many stored precious materials.
A closing door system with a seal threshold is often the best choice, unless a garage door or barn-like bay door is an option that can be closed with a seal.
Inspecting Features And Protections
If you're storing materials that can't handle humidity or outside atmosphere exposure, make sure to look for any gaps in the infrastructure. Cracks can form as building ages, and you may spot a newly formed crack that needs to be brought to the facility's attention.
Even if the unit seems to have been cleaned after a previous renter, make sure to look for anything that could have been left behind. Search for any residue and be sure to notify the storage facility before attempting any cleanup.
If you need dry conditions for your belongings, it's best to search for a facility with air conditioning. At the very least, the unit should have an electrical connection to allow a dehumidifier to run at low power. Speak with a storage facility professional like Island Movers to discuss available features and inspections.