Leaving your belongings in self-storage is supposed to keep them safe for a period of time until you want to use them again. You would expect to find your belongings in the same condition as when you left them, however, if you are unable to check on them for long periods of time you may need to think a bit more proactively about the best way to store and protect your belongings to avoid damage from occurring. One of the biggest problems, both for customers and storage companies, is the damage that pests can cause. Pests like mice, rats, ants, and even bugs can cause significant damage to stored goods if they are allowed to gain access to your storage facility. Damage caused by pests and mould is one of the main reasons for claiming loss and damage on insurance policies when it comes to self-storage. However, a few simple precautions like the ones suggested below will significantly reduce the risk of damage from pests and mould. If you are looking for storage Camberley please see here.
• Use Suitable Containers
A critical part of protecting your belongings in self-storage is choosing the right containers. Firmly sealed plastic crates, reinforced at the edges, are always the best deterrent for pests. Rodents are unlikely to chew through hard plastic which means the contents will be left intact.
However, remember that mould is another major contributor to damage. You will need to check that the contents are clean, dry, and free of any signs of mould before you seal the containers. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity in self-storage containers will cause any mould or mildew present to flourish, especially in ones that are not climate controlled.
• Thoroughly Clean All Textiles Before Storage
All textiles like upholstered furniture, clothing, toys, and sporting gear must be thoroughly cleaned and dried before being put in containers to avoid mould and mildew from growing. Clothing, in particular, should be stored in sealed containers rather than just hanging them up in bags or boxes where they are more likely to become potential nesting material for pests.
• Check the Storage Unit Before Use
Before storing any of your belongings in self-storage, check that the unit is clean and that there are no signs of mould, mildew, or droppings from pests. Pest droppings are a clear indication that there are access points where mice and rats are getting in. Check the entire unit for even the smallest holes where rodents can get in. Once you are satisfied that all access points have been sealed, make sure that the interior is thoroughly swept and cleaned before storing your goods.
Check the outside of the unit for signs of pest control boxes that actively control pests. This is a good sign that the storage company is using active means to control pests.
• Do Not Store Any Perishables
Although this seems obvious, you will be surprised at how many people ignore this rule only to run into major problems when they open the storage unit. Almost all professional storage facilities have a clear policy that perishable goods like plants and food should under no circumstances be stored in their storage units. The obvious reason is that perishables will attract pests like mice and rats that have an excellent sense of smell. Even if it is sealed, mice are able to squeeze through gaps as small as a pencil width in some cases if they can sniff out anything that can be eaten. Forgotten perishables can also create a health hazard inside your self-storage unit.
Storing perishables in your self-storage unit will not only invalidate any agreement with the storage provider but will also cause a potential problem with insurance claims should you wish to claim for damages. Bottom line – to prevent problems, never ever store any perishables in a self-storage unit.
If you have taken care that the abovementioned precautions have been put in place, the chances of finding your containers intact and the contents undamaged when you open your storage unit will be much higher.