By Jennifer Reeves
When you start out looking for that self storage unit to help free up some of the space in your home, it can be somewhat overwhelming. By taking a little bit of time, and putting thought and care into the process, you can avoid a lot of the headaches that some people experience. Always remember that the folks at upickstorage.com are here to help you out when you have any questions about the storage of your valuables.
Climate controlled storage, by definition, is a unit that is kept above 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months, and does not get above 90 degrees during the summer. Low temperatures can cause liquid in items to freeze, thus expanding the item it is kept in. When this happens, cracks can form in plastics and thawing will only create a big mess. Also, the freezing and thawing fluctuation also creates a perfect environment for the formation of mold and mildew. As we all know, mildew and mold can speed up the deterioration of items, and even cause discoloration. By choosing a form of climate control for your unit, and practicing good packing of items, you can rest assured your valuables will be safe. Each facility has its own standards they follow, so when in doubt, it is best to ask your helpful manager what regulated temperature their units are kept at.
You always want to begin by determining your need for climate control. Is it really worth the extra expense? If you live in MN, where the climate gets very cold during the winter months, you’ll want to take care when storing certain items. One rule of thumb to follow: if you live in the area and would keep the items in your garage and feel comfortable, it would be completely fine to choose a non-climate or standard unit. Lawn equipment that has been drained of all fluids, sporting equipment, tools (if properly packed), appliances, outdoor furniture, and bikes can all be kept in a standard or non-climate controlled unit. To be extra safe, it is always important to wipe tools and machines with a few drops of oil for added protection. Storing these items on pallet or on 2x4s will help with ventilation, and give you added protection from any moisture build-up as well.
Weather in this area is generally mild, with the exception of the winter months. You have the added option of having facilities that provide heat in the winter months, so year-round climate control isn’t always necessary. If your sole concern is the safety of your items during the winter months, this is a less expensive option than full climate control. It would be up to your best judgment as to what is the most comfortable option for you.
Since the element we are concerned about is freezing weather, climate control is necessary when storing fragile items. If your valuables are made of materials that are sensitive to expanding and shrinking (which is what happens during hard freezes and thaws), you will definitely want to invest in a climate controlled unit. Also, items that would be sensitive to moisture that can develop in this type of environment would be better stored at a regulated temperature. Below is a list of items that would be best stored in climate control:
- Musical Instruments
- Electronics, cameras, and smaller plastic appliances
- Computers and media or software
- Antique wood furniture
- Important personal or business documents
- Clothing, or items of natural fiber materials
Remember: if you have a sentimental attachment to what you are storing, it’s best to do so in a climate controlled environment. This goes for items of high value as well. If you are questioning the safety of items you know you are going to store for an extended period of time, it is simply best to use climate control- your peace of mind is well worth the investment!