There are a lot of factors that come into play when storing your belongings in a storage unit, and some of the issues require experience to truly understand. Needing a lock and key with a strong door is understandable in an age when theft is common, but issues such as humidity, corrosion, or infestation can be hard to appreciate for their severity if the building looks clean and professional. Here are a few environmental issues that could affect your storage unit, along with facility features to get around the problem.
Flooding Risks & Finding Safe Areas
Does your area have regular flooding, or almost daily humidity during the hotter months? Water damage comes in many forms, but there a few techniques that can protect you from all but the most severe, record-breaking disasters.
Seeking a facility or installing a rented unit in high ground is a must. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done; high ground can be prime real estate in areas that are prone to flooding, so you may be limited established storage facilities or leasing/purchasing land further outside of your area.
Depending on the usual flooding, you could search for storage facilities and placement lots that are built on platforms above the flood plain (the standard level of flooding). Be careful; many people incorrectly read an area's flood level and assume that a standard flood of 8 inches means that everything in town needs to be supported over 8 inches only. Your specific area may be lower, higher, or with other factors that trap in more water for higher flood levels.
Humidity & Water Stagnation
Daily humidity can lead to wrinkled clothes and corroded or rusted metal if left without decent air quality control and ventilation. This usually means having at least an air conditioning unit that can reduce temperatures to a state that keeps moisture levels low, as well as the passive moisture removal that happens as part of the air conditioning process.
There are other humidity removal techniques, such as installing dehumidifiers that are the proper size for your storage unit. Be sure to read the recommended room size on the dehumidifier, or speak with the manufacturer for recommendations.
Another important task is to make sure that there isn't a water source that could make your storage unit area unseasonably humid. Coastal, island, and river areas will need to make sure that they have proper humidity removal devices, but areas with standing water from flooding will need to tend to the flooding issue.
If the area is prone to flooding, do you or the facility have a plan for pumping the water out? Standing water delivers humidity, allows mold growth, and can even lead to infestation as pests seek refuge.
Contact a storage facility professional to discuss available storage options, as well as ways to keep your belongings safe in unexpected situations.