Maintain the Value of Your Costly Items in Climate-Controlled Storage

01/25/2022 How To / How To Guides / Storage Tips

Standard self storage units are adequate for most household and business items, but your temperature-sensitive and irreplaceable goods need the added protection of climate-controlled storage. Extreme heat can melt the strings and glue on your valued musical instruments and cause wood furniture to expand and crack. Exposure to humidity encourages mold and mildew growth, which can deteriorate your books, photos, and textiles. The longer these items are stored in an uncontrolled environment the more susceptible they are to damage.

Your search for climate-controlled storage requires much the same research that you would do for any type of storage unit. Look for convenience, security, and reliability. Climate-controlled storage protects your belongings from extreme temperatures and humidity, but you still want the security of knowing you’re protected from theft, fire, and other unforeseen events. Handy Storage provides you with the safety, security, and protection that you want for your belongings.

 For more information read What To Look For When Choosing a Self Storage Facility

Shopping for Climate-Controlled Storage

Be aware that there is a difference between temperature-controlled and climate-controlled storage. Climate-controlled units are typically kept between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit with a base humidity of 55 percent. Temperature-controlled means only that the temperature is regulated, but not the humidity. Depending on what you’re storing, humidity can sometimes cause more damage than temperature. The facility that you choose should offer year-round climate control for both temperature and humidity.

Before beginning your search for climate-controlled storage, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the temperature where I’ll be storing my items drop below 32° or rise above 90° F?
  • Is the facility in a climate that is subject to high humidity?
  • Do any of my possessions have high monetary or sentimental value?
  • Am I storing items for a long time, or am I unsure of the length of time my items will be in storage?
  • Will I need to visit the unit frequently, and do I want a comfortable environment?

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you need climate-controlled storage to protect what is important to you.

Items That Should be Kept in Climate-Controlled Storage

Below is a list of items that might require climate control protection.

    • Valuable Artwork: Fragile canvases that are exposed to heat and humidity can tighten, stretch, or slacken; this will eventually cause cracking and flaking of paint.  Humidity levels that are too high can expose artwork to mold and mildew. 
  • Electronics: In humid conditions, electronic connections will begin to rust, reducing the conductivity and making the device more likely to malfunction or fail. The extra cost for climate-controlled storage is more than worth the investment for expensive electronics.
  • Household Appliances: Be careful with your household appliances or they may end up as useless pieces of junk. If your appliances will be stored in an area that experiences temperature extremes, be sure to store them in climate-controlled units. Doing this will preserve their electronic and mechanical components from rust and cracking. 
  • Leather Furniture: Leather is susceptible to mold growth if left in damp conditions, and, like wood, it can crack and rot. Once mold forms, it’s extremely challenging to eliminate the residual musty odor.
  • Musical Instruments: Using anything but climate-controlled storage for musical instruments isn’t an option. Musical instruments can be severely damaged by high humidity and fluctuating temperatures.  Strings can snap, and glues and adhesives can soften or even melt in extreme heat.
  • Photographs and Important Documents: Photographs and documents need to be handled carefully. Climate-controlled storage will prevent mold, mildew, and fading that could occur in high humidity. Moisture due to humidity could lead to paper and backings warping or even disintegrating. 
  • Wine: An increasing number of self-storage renters are looking for specialty storage options for wine. Specific conditions are required to maintain the flavor, texture, and quality of wine. When it is exposed to humidity and temperature variations, the chemical makeup can modify and spoil what was once an exquisite and expensive bottle of wine. 
    • Wood and Antique Furniture: Too much humidity causes shrinking and swelling in wood furniture. This can cause cracks and other unfortunate damage, which will impact the resale as well as the sentimental value of your treasured pieces.
  • Collectibles: If you own collectibles like stamps, comic books, or coins, storing them without the benefit of climate control could cause paper deterioration and rust, eventually affecting their value.

If you live in an area of the country that faces temperature and humidity extremes, it’s important that you look at climate-controlled storage for your belongings. As mentioned above, always consider the sentimental as well as the monetary value when you’re self-storage shopping. To keep your treasured possessions free of damage and deterioration, it’s more than worth the extra expense.

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