When It’s Hot, It’s Hot!
People commonly select self-storage during a cooler time of year. No one likes to spend more money than they have to and if the planned stay with storage was initially short, the lower cost non-climate storage units may look better price-wise. But as temperatures rise and remain hot for long periods of time, here are things that can happen during the hot summer months:
Collectible plastics including records, audio and video discs, dolls, games, cups, toys and much more can melt in high temperatures or at least become excessively dry and brittle before they snap and break. Even if they are carefully wrapped, non-climate-controlled conditions cannot block the worst heat. In fact, metal sided and roofed facilities can actually amplify the heat almost like an oven. Imagine how hot you would feel working inside in a metal shed all day without any air conditioning.
Magazines and comic books can be affected in a very bad way by persistent heat. The covers can melt together and the pages yellow and turn brittle. These items do not have to be in direct sunlight to be spoiled in this way. You may still enjoy them in damaged condition, but their resale value can drop to zero.
Many people do not think about how dry air can dry out clothing. Much of the softness in clothing is derived from the moisture it was made with. Remember those old rags left in the garage in the heat all summer? They will dry up and shred in far less time than you imagine.
While most electronics and appliances are made to withstand reasonable heat throughout their manufacture and shipping process; persistent heat can greatly shorten the lifespans of those as well. The circuit boards inside of them can expand and contract in extreme persistent temperatures causing connections to break and components to stop working.
The summer months are the times that insects hatch and rodents emerge. Both will seek any unprotected shelter that they can. Although your storage facility assuredly applies reasonable insect and rodent control on a regular basis, facility employees cannot get inside rented units to treat anything people have brought in from the outside. Non-climate-controlled facilities are not sealed from every crack and opening… they shouldn’t be, so that the contents can breathe with some degree of air flow. But that also means that the small creatures that breed in the heat of summer have as much easy access as a shed does in your own back yard.
Bedding and furniture are always perfect candidates for climate control. Nothing is worse than reclaiming these expensive items and wishing you had thought about insect secretions and the increased risk of mold in advance.
Your facility manager can give the history of the buildings you store your valued items in and in all cases, Prime Storage does everything possible to keep facilities well maintained and leak free. The reality is that if the worst unexpected storms come, the non-climate-controlled buildings are usually the first to experience possible damage.
Be advised that air-conditioning is not the same as humidity-control. Some facilities do offer separate humidity-control. For delicate fabrics and materials, the added benefit of humidity control can help. The storage industry uses the term “climate-control” that usually means the space is air-conditioned, but not humidity-controlled. Also remember that if you store items in an environment that obviously puts them at risk, your insurance coverage may not be applicable.
If your relationship with a storage facility is turning out to be a little longer than initially expected, consider moving all or some of your items to a climate-controlled unit. Your facility manager can help find one as close as possible to your existing location and offer suggestions that best suit your needs. The relocation process may help you to review the items you have in storage and make the right decisions to keep them in great condition for a much longer time.