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Climate Controlled Storage

Warehouse facilities come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many are all on one level and others are in multi-story buildings with freight elevators to move goods in to and out of the facility.

It is not uncommon to be able to drive right up to the door of your storage unit, unload your goods, open up the door to the unit and load everything in to the storage unit. This is very convenient especially if you will be adding items to the unit or removing items from the unit regularly.

Warehouse operators usually offer several different unit size options and many are capable of creating a space pretty much to the size you need by moving temporary portable walls. If you need a climate control space to protect your goods against damage, there are many warehouses that offer this option at a cost. Some facilities offer only non climate controlled units whereas others offer both climate and non climate controlled units. You may be able to use the climate controlled option for those items that need it and use the non climate controlled options for the remainder of your stuff. This can save you some money as you are not paying for climate control for items that do not require it.

When visiting a storage facility to inquire about their services take a close look at the cleanliness of the warehouse both inside an outside. Also take note of the people working there. Would you want them looking after your goods?

Here are some quick tips on what to look for when visiting a facility.

Outdoor Facilities

  • Are the facility grounds well taken care of?
  • Is there overgrown vegetation growing up against the facility walls? - Vermin love to hide out in vegetation and can burrow their way in to the building
  • Is the security fence intact?
  • Are the parking areas well maintained?
  • Is the outside of the facility well lit?
  • Are there bait boxes for pests outside? Are these well maintained and is the bait changed regularly?

Indoor Facilities

  • Is the inside well lit and maintained?
  • Are their smoke alarms in the building?
  • Are there fire extinguishers and ceiling sprinklers visible?
  • Is smoking allowed in the facility? Some facilities allow smoking in the office area only, some allow no smoking, period.
  • Is the staff courteous and presentable?

Climate control
Many of the items you plan on storing may require some type to climate control in order to remain in good condition. If you are inspecting a
warehouse facility that offers controlled environmental storage ask them how they monitor the climate. Are the rooms alarmed to warn if the temperature or humidity levels are not at the correct levels? If there is a power outage, does the warehouse have back up generators?

Does the warehouse have temperature and humidity chart recorders or other devices such as PC interfaces to monitor the conditions in the units?

Here is a list of items you should consider storing in conditioned storage.

  • Paper products such as files or important documents may rot due to high humidity
  • Electronics such as computers
  • Home furnishings especially antiques may get wood rot if stored in high humidity
  • Furs– You may want to store in a cold environment during the summer months when not in use
  • Mattresses – dampness can destroy mattresses with mold growth and rust in the metal springs
  • Musical instruments such as pianos that may be sensitive to changes in environmental conditions especially humidity may rust and the wood can rot

Humidity control
Items that are sensitive to high humidity are generally stored in rooms with humidity at levels that are below 55 RH (Relative Humidity). Molds and mildew can grow on most surfaces and can spread easily as the spores can become air borne however mold and mildew growth is inhibited at 55 RH. You may have seen an old leather jacket after it was stored in the attic or basement for a period of time and it can smell musty and be covered in white spots and this is mildew.

High humidity can also be a cause of objects made of iron to rust and the higher the humidity the more rapid the corrosion.

Temperature control
Furs are stored in cold conditions in the summer months to prevent hardening of the leather due to oil loss from excessive heat and humidity. Shedding of fur coats is the result of this hardening. Damage from moths and insects can be extensive in furs so prevention is the key and cold storage is an excellent choice as the cold naturally kills off bugs.

Humidity and Temperature control
If your belongings need both temperature and humidity control, this is the option you need to choose. As you can imagine it would be the most costly of all options.

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