Well, I hate to say it, if you live in Binghamton, NY...Winter is right around the corner. Soon, it will be time to pack up your beach gear, your ATV, and your patio furniture and instead pull out your seasonal holiday decorations from your storage unit. This changing of the guard presents an excellent opportunity to prepare your storage unit for the colder weather ahead. As you might have guessed, different seasons require different storage preparation protocol. Summer is all about tackling heat and humidity. Winter? The freezing cold and water are your biggest enemies.
1. Invest in a Weatherproof Lock
First thing’s first: your storage unit is only as good as the lock that’s keeping its door shut when you are not there. Many storage units will offer (or sell) you a lock when you purchase your first month on the unit. All of these locks will likely be able to lock up your unit when it’s 75 degrees outside, but that’s not always the case when temperatures start to plummet. Not all locks are meant to withstand the cold. Some are susceptible to freezing and may become completely unusable. Trying to fit a key into a frozen lock is bad news all around — for your lock, your key, your unit, and the stuff inside. If you are in an area that sees cold winter weather, invest in a weatherproof lock. Only slightly more expensive than regular locks, these all-weather solutions will save you major headache and hassle in the colder months.
2. Know Which Items Inside of Your Storage Unit are Most Affected by Cold Weather & How to Properly Store Them!
Knowing how to winterize your storage unit means knowing which are items are the most susceptible to cold. It also means knowing how to prepare those items properly. Below, we cover both topics for some of the most commonly stored stuff.
Delicate Memorabilia Items. As you could probably guess, many of your most delicate (and valuable!) items in your storage unit are the most sensitive to cold weather. Things like trading cards, documents, old photographs, and vinyl records should all be wrapped in plastic and sealed tightly. This will help keep humidity out, which will stop the freezing that causes cracking, tearing, and general degradation.
Electronics and Battery-Operated Items. Many people don’t know this, but battery cells have liquid inside of them that can also expand and crack the battery (and possibly even crack the entire apparatus that contains the battery). This means that you need to take extra care to properly store your things with batteries in them. If the batteries can easily be removed, remove them and store them in a well-insulated part of your unit or back at your indoor property for the winter. Even if some of your electronics don’t have batteries in them, it is very important to store them properly for the winter so they don’t get water trapped in them and lose years off their lives — or break entirely. If you can, store electronics in their original packaging. If you no longer have the original packaging, store them in a box of similar size and fill up all of the empty space with either packing peanuts or bubble wrap.
Wood Furniture. Make sure your wooden furniture is dry (without being dehydrated) and wrap it using plastic wrap or a blanket. This will prevent mold and mildew during the colder months.
3. Weatherproof your Stuff
In extremely cold weather, getting your stuff up off the ground is going to be your best friend. Invest in some wood pallets if you can transport them to your unit. Wood pallets are great to put underneath all of your stacks of stuff to keep them off the ground. But if you don’t have the time to totally rearrange your storage unit so that you can lay down pallets on the ground, make sure that you at least get your most valuable and cold-sensitive stuff up off the ground.
Furniture pads are great for insulating as well. Consider investing in some furniture pads if you don’t have enough wool blankets to go around. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used for so many things beyond just weatherproofing your unit. Make sure your items are also not pushed up against a wall (especially a wall that is directly exposed to the outdoors), because cold and frost can creep onto your stuff through the walls.
For temperature controlled storage or non temperature controlled storage call 607-775-9776 or visit www.laingselfstorage.com. For a Free Mobile Storage Quote, you can call 607-775-9776 or visit www.laingmobilestorage.com.