Many people who keep their valuables in self-storage facilities retrieve the valuables in the same state they kept them. However, this will only be the case for you if you take measures to protect your valuables. Below are the top three threats that can cause damage and how you can deal with them.
Theft in self-storage units is not common, but you can never rule it out completely. Both you and the facility have parts to play to prevent theft of your valuables. Below are some steps you can take to prevent theft in your storage unit:
- Choose a secure self-storage unit. Security measures to watch out for include things like access control, video surveillance, alarm systems, perimeter wall, and adequate lighting, among others.
- Don't share your access code or key to your unit.
- If you are sharing a storage unit (say, to minimize storage costs) with another person, make sure it is someone you know well and trust.
The best way to know the security measures in place is to ask the facility management.
Moisture is also another scourge of stored valuables. Good storage facilities are properly constructed and well maintained so that you don't have to worry about external moisture intruding into your storage unit. The onus is on you, therefore, to prevent internal moisture exposure to your valuables. Here are a few tips for doing this:
- Clean and dry your valuables before storage; dirt can attract moisture during storage.
- Use breathable storage boxes and wrapping materials.
- Raise your storage boxes off the floor, for example, by placing them on wooden pallets.
- Leave walkways between columns or rows of storage boxes to encourage air circulation.
- Use a hygroscopic substance to keep the storage unit dry.
If your valuables are extremely sensitive to moisture exposure, then the best thing is to keep them in climate-controlled storage units.
Lastly, you should also be alert to the threat of pest damage, especially if you want to store items that can be damaged by pests. Things like electronics, clothes, books, and artwork are all pest fodder that you can easily lose if you don't keep pests way. Again, both you and the storage facility have a role to play to prevent pest damage. Here are some measures that can help:
- Choose a well-maintained self-storage facility that doesn't have bushes about its storage units; bushes attract pests.
- Don't store food products; apart from being banned from most storage facilities, food also attracts pests.
- Clean and dry your valuables before storage; moisture and debris attract pests.
- Ensure your valuables are pest-free before taking them to storage.
As an additional measure, ask the facility's management for their pest-management practices.