How clean does your storage unit to be? Few people specifically want a dirty storage unit, but there are a lot of hidden debris, air quality, and general cleanliness issues that go unchecked simply because the customer--and sometimes the facility management--doesn't know what to check. Some of these problems can be addressed quickly enough to continue your business with an otherwise perfect storage facility for your budget and storage feature needs, so keep these inspection points in mind to either spot fixable cleanliness problems or move on to the next facility.
Leaks, Cracks, Debris, And Infestation
One of the most damaging problems in storage units is outside contamination. Not all storage units need to be airtight clean rooms, but you can't simply allow mud, water, and insects to stream in unchecked.
Be sure to check the storage unit for cracks and gaps in the walls, floor, ceiling, doors, and other openings. Some may be easy enough to spot with the naked eye, but you may want to check for air temperature changes or listen for noises as well.
One good way to inspect for damage and outside air leakage is to bring a friend for a two-person observation during the day. Keep someone outside of the facility to make sure that you're not unsafely locked in, then close the storage unit door and turn off the lights. Look for any light penetration, especially around the door. Door frame leaks can be treated with new weather stripping, repaired frames, or full door replacement.
With the lights on again, but the door still closed, move your hands along the walls. You're feeling for any air movement that could stream through holes or cracks, which could allow water to leak through or insects to come in. Dampen your hands with a moist paper towel to make the air movement more noticeable.
Air Filter Quality And Maintenance
Many storage facilities feature air conditioning as a feature, but it's hardly standard--or even standardized. There's no guarantee that the air conditioning unit will have filtration that fits your needs, so be sure to check it.
Not all storage facilities need a HEPA filter or similarly strict filtration process. That said, you need to figure out what you don't want inside your storage unit and figure out what kind of filter will get the job done. There are reasonable limits to filter strength, and the bigger concerns are blocking out dust, pollen, and animal dander.
The more strict the filter, the sooner it has to be changed. This is why specific filter mesh types exist, just so people who only want to filter out a few specific items can get the job done without getting a maximum clean, but quickly clogged filter.
It's up to the storage facility when it comes to filter choice and changing. If you need a specific facility and can't agree with the filtration, ask if there are power outlets inside the storage unit and if you can connect your own air filtration device.
Contact a storage facility management team to discuss their cleanliness standards and to schedule your own inspection, or click here for more info on storage.