If you’ve ever watched an episode of “Storage Wars” (be careful though, it’s addictive) you’ll notice that people keep all kinds of things in their storage units – everything from worthless rubbish, to valuable paintings.
If you’re living in a state where the weather is temperate from one end of the year to the next, then you probably won’t have to worry about any items in your storage unit being damaged by extreme cold.
The issue is that we’re now seeing extremes of temperatures right across the globe, for whatever reason, meaning that delicate items in a basic storage unit could be ruined in a single winter. Those items you thought would be safe in a clean bag or box, could quite easily be damaged beyond repair if you don’t store them in a climate-controlled storage unit.
A climate-controlled unit means that your personal belongings will never be exposed to extreme atmospheric conditions, regardless of what local weather conditions are. While this type of storage unit does cost just a little bit extra each month, you do have the peace of mind of knowing that your valuables will be maintained in the same condition as when you placed them there.
You’re not sure if you need this type of storage unit? Well, here’s a quick checklist of items which are better suited to being stored in a climate-controlled unit:
Keeping Your Clothes Away from Moisture
Unless you’re eventually going to dispose of your clothing, then you’ll need to prevent them being exposed to moisture. It’s literally impossible to get rid of the smell of ingrained mold or mildew from clothing, which means you probably can’t even donate them to Goodwill.
Don’t Let Wood Warp
When exposed to excessive moisture levels anything made of wood will slowly begin to swell, shrinking again when the moisture evaporates. This leads to the wood warping, and even splitting in extreme cases. The finish on these wooden antiques, or pieces of furniture, would then require professional restoration.
Don’t Let Paper Turn Brown
You can store your comic books, periodicals, or favorite novels in plastic tubs if you like, but if they’re exposed to excessive levels of cold or damp the paper will eventually start to degrade. The most common problems you’ll see are mold or mildew appearing on the paper, or “foxing” of the paper, where reddish-brown stains appear. The older and rarer the paper you’re storing, the more susceptible it is to moisture damage.
Protecting Your Delicate Art
All types of paper and fabric used in different forms of art are very sensitive to extremes of cold and damp. Any storage unit will keep them safe from UV light, but only a climate controlled unit can prevent moisture damage to canvas, photographic paper, and other fabrics used in works of art.
Don’t Mix Electrical with Moisture
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that moisture and electricity don’t mix, but that doesn’t stop people storing household appliances, power tools, and sensitive electronic items in cold, damp storage units. Varying levels of humidity exposes these items to a form of water damage, which leads to components rusting. At best your appliances or tools will be ruined, and at worst they could cause an electrical fire when plugged in again.
Keep Wine From Spoiling
Ideally you would store your wine collection in a wine cellar, but a storage unit probably seems like the next best option. And it is, as long as the storage until doesn’t expose your bottled wine to excesses of heat or cold – that’s the quickest way for your entire collection to spoil. Once spoiled your wine is undrinkable.
Keep Leather From Ruining
Expensive leather furniture or clothing should only ever be stored in a climate-controlled environment. Mold and mildew can appear on leather items in a matter of weeks, potentially ruining them.
Musical Instruments in Tune
It’s this simple: Unless you want your stringed, woodwind, brass or percussion instruments damaged beyond repair then please, please only store them in a climate-controlled unit. Storing valuable musical instruments in a cold or damp environment is a no-no.
A climate-controlled storage unit costs marginally more than a standard one, and is a sound investment in keeping your stored items safe, dry and in perfect condition.
If you’d like to discuss what type of unit would best suit your personal needs then contact Lambert Transfer and Storage – we’ve been helping movers and people relocating to and from Auburn & Opelika since the 1920s.