Unless you pay extra for a climate-controlled storage unit, you should carefully consider what items you place inside. Typical storage units are made of steel sheets with a little insulation. That makes them highly susceptible to weather changes throughout the year.
You might not realize it, but there are a few items you shouldn’t place in a storage unit. Don't make these common mistakes and risk ruining your possessions.
1. Flammable Items
You might not have room in your home for Fourth of July fireworks, but you would be better off using them than placing them in a storage unit. First of all, the state restricts the storage of flammable materials in storage units, so you would be breaking the law.
Secondly, flammable items like gasoline, acid, grease, fertilizer, paint, and chemicals are more likely to combust in the heat of the summer. Your flammable items could start a dangerous fire that would destroy your possessions and make you liable for the lost possessions of your neighbors.
2. Important Documents
When you have documents that contain sensitive personal information, you should keep them close or destroy them. We have excellent security at our facility, but you should protect yourself against unnecessary risk by keeping your important documents close.
Also, paper documents can degrade over time in hot or damp environments. Since the storage units are not climate controlled, rain and heat can affect the climate inside the unit and cause damage.
Older items are more subject to damage from extreme temperature change than new items. They are also nearly impossible to replace, especially if they have sentimental value. Antique wood, for example, can easily warp with fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Don't risk your irreplaceable heirlooms in storage.
4. Family Photos
Photographs are more vulnerable than other papers to heat and damp. Commercially printed photographs contain chemicals that can melt if the temperature inside the storage unit gets too high. Remember the storage units are made of metal, so the temperature inside can get quite high. Keep your family photos safely stored in your home.
Perishable items should never be placed in a storage unit, any more than you would put them out on the front porch in the middle of summer. However, may people don't realize unperishable items should also not be kept in storage. Your emergency supply of wheat may be kept in a sealed plastic container, but the alternating high and low temperatures could cause it to spoil over time.
Also, food products attract bugs and vermin, which can destroy the other items in your storage unit.
You know it's bad for your computer to overheat, so don't put it in a storage unit where the heat gets intense. This is especially true for electronics like computers, flat-screen TVs, tablets, and smartphones. If you can afford a climate-controlled unit, you can safely store electronics there. Otherwise, don't take a chance of ruining your gadgets.
Even if you rent a climate-controlled unit, you cannot leave a pet in self-storage for any length of time. There are multiple reasons for not allowing pets in storage units. Animals are in danger of self-injury or even death when they are in enclosed spaces without supervision. They can suffer from lack of food and water, poisoning from their urine or feces, and psychological effects from being left in isolation.
In fact, leaving pets in self-storage is against the law, so you could be charged with abuse or neglect by doing so.
If you have any other questions about what should and shouldn't be in a storage unit, contact our self-storage company.