Winter weather can lead to problems with your storage unit if you are not prepared for it. While indoor, temperature controlled storage units are usually safe from the ravages of winter, outdoor units are not so lucky. There are things you need to do to prepare your storage unit for winter—so you can enjoy the winter without worrying about your belongings!
Follow these winter prep steps:
1. Prepare for flooding.
With enough snow accumulation, some outdoor storage units can be affected by flooding. If you think that flooding is a possibility at your storage unit, it is a good idea to put your things on pallets. Pallets should place your things high enough to avoid the kind of flooding that comes from heavy snow accumulation.
2. Consider putting things in water tight boxes.
Cardboard does not hold up well to water. Even a little water exposure will turn cardboard into a soggy mess. The water will rapidly spread to the things inside the box, which can be ruinous. And, if you attempt to pick up the box, it will come apart in your hands. To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, put your things in water tight plastic bins. The bins will keep the water out and can be used over and over. They also hold up to repeated use better than cardboard, making them a useful investment.
3. Protect items that are sensitive to temperature.
Some items can be harmed by significant changes in temperature, either by the cold directly or by the shift back and forth from cold to hot. Musical instruments and pieces of artwork are two of the most obvious, but there are others, including anything with liquid in and electronics. Lawnmowers, weed eaters and other small engines may benefit from fuel stabilizer as well if you are going to leave them for the winter. That or you can drain the fuel from them for winter storage. Think about what you are storing and determine if these items will be damaged by the cold. If so, seriously consider putting them in a climate controlled unit. These units are more expensive, but they are the best option for temperature sensitive items.
4. Place coverings over your furniture.
Some furniture can be negatively affected by extreme cold, such as wood furniture. If you have nice wood furniture or any other furniture that you are worried about being damaged by the cold, place a covering over it. You can use blankets, tarps or anything else that will provide a small layer of insulation over the furniture. If you are going to put coverings over your nice furniture, you might think about choosing waterproof coverings. The waterproof coverings will not only provide insulation but protect against any water that might leak in from a damaged roof.
5. Grab the things you need for the season.
Since you are going to be in your storage unit anyway, you might as well see if there is anything you need for the coming cold. Many people use self-storage to keep things like winter clothing and other winter-related gear, such as sleds, skis, and snowboards. You may find that you have a number of items you can use in storage. You can also put things in storage that you are not going to need for the winter, like summer clothing.
6. Guard your things against pests.
Critters like mice, rats, and insects tend to head indoors when the cold weather arrives. Your storage unit may be the ideal home for these pests, especially if you have any nice, warm furniture inside. There are a few things you can use to prevent pests, including cedar wood, plastic wrapping, and poison.