Storage unit facilities are a booming industry with good reason. Businesses frequently need separate storage units. Perhaps they have extra inventory, or they need temporary space during renovations. Whatever the reason, a growing number of people depend on the extra storage at some point. Before you start searching for "storage units near me," there are some things to consider.
Here are the top five problems with self-storage units.
#1 Inconvenient locations
The business model for public storage requires lots of cheap land. That generally means storage facilities are located away from the more common areas of a community. While that can mean lower costs for the company, it can be inconvenient for people renting a storage unit. Renters may need to drive to unfamiliar areas to check out facilities.
If the locations for your local rental facilities are a bit too far away to be practical, there are options. Some companies can deliver empty storage units to your desired location. You may be able to keep the unit in your driveway or an area closer to the home/business. These are often storage units made from converted shipping containers.
#2 Humidity/water damage
One of the biggest problems with long term storage is the potential for damage due to humidity. If you do not rent a watertight storage unit, you may end up with leakage after rain or snow. Even if the water does not directly damage the items, evaporation will create higher humidity. Humidity in storage can lead to mold in fabrics or food. Wooden items can warp in high humidity. If your valuables are in long term storage, you may not notice until the damage is too severe.
There are several solutions to avoiding humidity damage. If you visit the facility often, you can use baking soda or some similar material to absorb the extra moisture in the air. Of course, you would need to change the material frequently as it becomes saturated.
Climate controlled storage units are another option. Most heating and cooling systems that circulate air also remove moisture. That means mobile refrigerated storage units will also reduce the humidity in the air. Dryer air can mean less chance of mold or material warping. As for water damage, unless you live in a dry climate, any worthwhile unit should be somewhat watertight.
Unfortunately, dishonesty is a fact of modern life. While most people would never dream of taking things that do not belong to them, thieves do exist. One of the issues with long term storage is that crooks may target them. This is a problem in facilities that are not well-protected.
The same issue in #1, of being in inconvenient locations where land is cheap, also puts them in areas with low traffic, giving criminals plenty of unmonitored time to do what they want to do.
Rent a storage unit that can be placed at your location, with solid steel construction and a tamper-protected locking system. If thieves know it will take them too much time to cut through the mobile storage container successfully, they may move on to another target. Portable storage units also provide the additional protection of optimal location. You can find a secure location on-site to keep a close eye on your materials.
#4 Lack of access to stored materials
This one may not be a problem for everyone. If you don't visit the storage unit until withdrawal time, access may not be an issue. Visiting a storage facility and realizing they closed earlier that day can be frustrating. Some facilities may also be closed on holidays or have reduced hours on weekends. Even if open, they may include a surcharge for visiting the facility outside specified hours.
You may also have an issue obtaining specific items from within the storage unit. Most units have one entrance. If the item you need happens to be buried in the back, you would need to empty the unit to retrieve it.
If you believe there is a chance you may need to visit the unit more frequently, you may want to consider mobile storage. Mobile storage containers can be brought to your property and used at your discretion. This allows you to treat the unit more like an extended warehouse.
Mobile units can also come with two openings, allowing greater access to the stored materials. Finding units that allow you to add racks or shelving offers a final organization benefit.
#5 Transporting stuff to storage
Transportation of the items to be stored can create an additional challenge. Moving inventory from the warehouse to storage requires loading and unloading. Since you will likely need to rent a truck, that means the entire process would need to happen quickly. Taking longer than one day would mean additional days of rental.
On-site storage containers allow you to avoid the need to transport items to and from storage continually. Placing the storage container on your property means you can move the materials from warehouse to storage. Furthermore, since the storage container is at your location, you can take your time loading. Depending on your choice of location, you can have 24-hour access to storage every day.
Many Options for Storage
As with any decision with your valuable merchandise, take time to do research before making a decision. There are many options for storage in the modern world. Make sure you contact a storage company that can provide flexible options for your needs. That way, you can avoid the problems sometimes associated with storage units.