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There are a million reasons you may need a storage facility. Maybe you have some prized possessions you want to keep securely stashed away, or you are in between permanent and temporary housing and you can’t fit everything in your temporary home, or maybe you are simply a person who loves hoarding everything away for a rainy day!
Whatever your reasons for needing a little extra room, a storage shed is a great choice for keeping all of your extra stuff safe and secure, providing you choose the right facility. But how do you know which storage company to go through?
When it comes to keeping your possessions safe, you can’t be too thorough with your research. Here are some of the best tips for choosing a storage facility that is going to keep your treasured items safe and secure until you need them again.
What to Look for in a Storage Facility
Not all storage sites are created equally. In fact, there are many things that set one apart from another that you might not even think about asking. While you are researching, check for these important aspects to ensure safe-keeping of your goods.
Ask what kind of security the facility provides.
Storage sheds without security are unmonitored areas asking for trouble. Since you want your stuff to be safeguarded from theft, check into the security system first.
A securely guarded facility will have a gate that has access via a computer, security cameras in each area of sheds, and good lighting throughout the area. These security systems will deter would-be thefts, and the good lighting will help you if you need after daylight hours access.
Be sure you meet the manager.
A good storage facility will have a manager that is hands-on with the customers and on-site regularly. Managers understand that problems can occur, and you should be able to quickly contact someone for help if you need it.
If you feel uncomfortable around the manager when you meet him or her, find a new storage facility.
Cleanliness is crucial.
From the office to the grounds, you should be able to walk into a storage facility and notice how it is kept clean. If the office is dusty and cluttered, the floor is in dire need of a good mopping. And the restroom is questionable, they probably will not take good care of your belongings, either.
Ask about their pest-control policy.
You may have everything tightly sealed away and stored carefully. And you may know that your items should not draw bugs, but you don’t know what is in everyone else’s shed. Pests can damage even the most tightly closed goods.
Your self-storage facility should have a contract with a pest control company. Who regularly comes to take care of potential infestations of roaches, spiders, and other critters.
You may need to invest in a climate-controlled shed.
Some storage facilities are all climate-controlled and others allow you to invest a little extra in that option if your belongings may benefit from the regulation of temperature.
Temperature-controlled storage units are good for valuable items that should not be exposed to ongoing heat or extreme cold. These kinds of items can include things such as important papers, pictures and photo albums, electronics, furniture, and other sensitive possessions. If you are unsure as to when to use climate control, you can ask your storage facility for more info or go online.
Pay attention to the customer service you receive.
Many storage facilities are almost fully automated now. So you can go online and rent a shed via email or make a phone call to reserve a space. However, no matter which route you take, your inquiries should be responded to quickly and politely.
Know what the accessibility options are.
When can you get to your belongings? Most storage facilities are 24 hours a day, 365 days a week accessible, but not all of them are. Ask about the schedule and ensure that it works with your needs.
Fire prevention equipment is important.
You may not see the fire prevention equipment yourself. But be sure to ask what their preventative measures are and where the equipment is stored. A reputable storage company will have, at a minimum, multiple smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and a sprinkler system located at precise areas throughout the facility.
Check out the storage unit features themselves.
Each unit should have its own ventilation or enough gaps at the top of the walls for air to circulate. This is important because, without proper ventilation, mildew will build up and find its way into your belongings.
In addition to ventilation, the floor should be slightly raised. This extra inch or two provides a layer of protection to keep water out of your unit. The door should be solid and mostly impenetrable to deter thieves and inclement weather both. And you should be able to use your own lock in addition to the one they provide.
Find a storage facility that is conveniently located for you.
Remote storage facilities may be cheaper, but paying a little extra to find one close to you may be worth the money if you visit frequently. Between the fuel you spend and the upkeep on your vehicle, the extra few dollars may be more cost-effective.
However, if you plan on storing your goods and not visiting again for a few months or longer. You may be better off finding a remote facility that can securely store your possessions and take care of them at a cheaper cost.
Explore Your Options
These ten tips are must-haves for anyone looking to rent a storage unit. However, the majority of storage facilities today will have at least some of these aspects.
Keep exploring your options until you are satisfied that you have found the best facility to take care of your prized possessions at a reasonable rate. Remember that it might not be the cheapest facility. But if it has all of these main requirements, you are probably getting a better deal.