What to Know About Climate-Controlled Storage
Are you buying or selling a home and have figured out that you’ll need to have a temporary self-storage unit? If you need to store your items, you’ll find companies offering climate-controlled storage units. These will be more costly than standard units, and you might be more restricted in the sizes available.
But do you really need to spend the extra money on a climate-controlled storage unit? Lots of people ask themselves what items need controlled climate storage.
If you intend to store your possessions for a longer time, climate control could make a significant difference. Many things can happen while your items are sitting in storage. The storage unit might be secure but environmental conditions can affect the contents of your unit.
Storage without climate control can suffer from moisture build-up, high or low temperatures can also be a problem, and pests could find their way into your unit as well.
These issues could lead to your items not being in the same condition when you collect them as they were when you filled the unit. If your valuable possessions are damaged due to the lack of climate control, the lower cost option won’t seem like a great decision.
Let’s take a look at some of the most vital things to think about when deciding to go with climate-controlled storage.
What is Temperature-Controlled Storage
The idea behind climate-controlled units is to maintain a constant average temperature and humidity to better store customers’ items. The temperature will typically be kept somewhere between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is similar to the average temperatures in the home.
Both the temperature and the humidity are vital when it comes to avoiding moisture in a storage unit. Humidity is the presence of water molecules in the air. In higher temperatures, more water can be held in the air. Higher temperatures can lead to increased humidity, which makes climate controls particularly useful in warmer parts of the country.
When the temperature and the humidity are kept within a stable range, the chances of moisture forming is significantly reduced.
Climate control is sometimes known as temperature control, and it is more commonly found with indoor storage facilities. If you need to use drive-up storage, they are less likely to be climate controlled, though the facility might still have options if you need it.
How to Find Controlled Climate Storage
Besides getting recommendations from friends and family for where you can go for climate control storage, a real estate agent may be a useful resource. After all, a real estate agent is directly involved with the moving process when buying and selling a home. It is not uncommon for them to keep up to date on storage options.
When nobody you know has used storage locally, your next best option is doing a Google search. By doing a search such as climate control storage near me or climate-controlled storage near me, you should get more than a couple of options.
Make sure you do your due diligence with any of the companies you consider using. Later, I’ll discuss some of the best companies that offer controlled climate storage.
What Items Need Temperature Controlled Storage?
The benefit of climate control will also depend on what items you have to put in storage. While all items will do better in climate-controlled conditions, some really need to be stored this way to avoid damage.
But what items need climate-controlled storage? Let’s review what should be put in a climate-controlled storage environment.
Soft furnishings and leather are susceptible to mold growth if they are left in damp conditions for too long. Wood will begin to crack or warp and then rot thanks to moisture.
This isn’t only a problem for furniture; any items which contain wood, fabric, or leather can suffer in the same way. Once mold forms, it will be challenging to get rid of the musty smell that accompanies mold.
The connections in electronic items will begin to rust in humid conditions. This will reduce the conductivity, making the device more likely to malfunction or fail altogether. Most electronics are obviously expensive, so this is where investing in climate-controlled storage really becomes and an excellent investment.
Artwork and Antiques
Moisture will damage paintings, and there is a risk of damage from mold. Antiques will be at risk from humidity as well, causing warping, cracking, or rust, depending on the materials used.
Again, these are the kind of items that really deserve protection from outside forces that can ruin your belongings.
Documents and Photographs
Storing important documents or irreplaceable photographs in non-climate controlled conditions is asking for trouble. The moisture could lead to paper and backings warping or even disintegrating while it is stored.
Essential photos and financial records should have controlled climate storage.
Since they will frequently contain either wood or electronics, storing musical instruments in damp conditions will cause them damage that may be beyond repair.
Wine will spoil if kept at either too high or too low temperatures. The ideal conditions vary between wines, but it should generally be stored between 55 and 68 Fahrenheit. Humidity can also be a problem for the long term storage of wine bottles.
If you have collectibles, like comic books or stamps that you want to put into storage, they could be damaged. Moisture affects paper and could lead to your comic book collection, losing a lot of its value. Other types of collectibles, like coins, could rust if not stored in the right conditions.
Fabric or leather could fall victim to mold or mildew if stored in standard units. This could lead to you deciding to throw away the clothing when you bring it out of long term storage. Climate control storage should be used when you have an abundance of clothing that needs special care.
Though they should be better protected against water than ordinary electronics, they can still suffer if stored for a long time.
Makeup and Toiletries
Makeup can be damaged by excess heat or damp conditions. Heat can cause oils and water to separate in cosmetics and toiletries, leading to them becoming unusable.
Other Items that need an environmentally-controlled atmosphere
Any items could be damaged if stored for a long time in less than ideal conditions. Metal can rust, items can be discolored, and pests could find their way into your storage unit. Climate controls reduce the chances of you having problems with your stored possessions. Even the moving boxes you collected can start to form mildew when exposed to harsh environmental conditions – especially when they fluctuate.
If you think your items could be susceptible to damage or are valuable to you, consider spending the extra to keep them in good condition.
Video: Do I Need Climate-Controlled Storage?
Take a look at this excellent video on why you may want to consider a climate-controlled storage option.
Other Considerations When Renting a Storage Unit
There may be other reasons why climate-controlled units are a better bet for you. If you need long term storage, the conditions in the unit may go through a sweeping change of temperature. When this will be the case where your unit is located, you should choose a climate-controlled unit.
If the storage facility is in a hot and often humid part of the country, climate control will help eliminate the problems. Temperature controls will reduce the moisture damage that could occur to your items.
On the other hand, when you only need storage for a short period, maybe a month or two, you should be fine without temperature controlled units. This is particularly true if you don’t have any items to store from the list above. Understanding how to pick a storage unit will still be a key consideration.
What is the Cost of Climate Controlled Storage Units?
The cost is typically going to be between 25 and 50 percent more than standard storage. There are more costs involved in offering this service, though the location of the storage facility will also have a significant effect on the cost to the customer.
Expect to pay around $100 to $120 a month for your climate-controlled unit. The cost will vary depending on the size of the unit along with the location. Though if it keeps your valuable possessions in excellent condition, it will be well worth the additional expense.
According to Sparefoot, the average cost to rent a self-storage unit is $88.85. The increase to $100 to $120 is based on the fact it will be climatically controlled. It should be noted that the $88.85 is very approximate, and the cost of a rental can vary tremendously across the country.
A climate-controlled unit costs more money because regulating humidity and temperature requires additional systems to be installed, powered, and maintained.
What Companies Provide Climate Controlled Storage?
You may be wondering which companies have climate-controlled storage available for their clients? Five of the best, including the following companies. When looking, as previously mentioned, you may want to do a Google search for “climate-controlled storage units near me.”
- U-Haul – You may have thought of U-haul as strictly a truck rental company but that is not the case. U-Haul also offers storage options as well. One of the significant benefits of going with U-Haul is that they also provide 24-hour access as well.
- Cubesmart – one of the more cost-effective choices for climate options will most likely be Cubesmart. They are well known in the industry for their cost-cutting. In select locations, you might also get lucky with a free rental truck to use.
- Public Storage – One of the more significant perks with Public Storage is their exceptional security along with their massive chain of locations. They also offer a significant selection of storage size options and first-month discounts.
- Extra Space Storage – Extra Space Storage is a highly rated company. The security with their units is outstanding. They are also well-known for their regular pest control treatments to keep out unwanted visitors.
- Life Storage – One of the most recognizable perks with Life Storage is the fact they have the widest variety of climate-controlled units. They also have an excellent website and honest pricing transparency as well.
All of these storage companies are highly rated. You probably can’t go wrong with any of these choices, but keep reading on how to pick one that best suits your needs.
How to Pick a Controlled Climate Storage Company
When trying to decide which is the best climate-controlled storage company to choose, quite often, people focus on the cost. That is perfectly fine, but there are other considerations to think about as well.
Here are factors to consider when picking a storage unit.
- Location – most people will want to have the convenience of getting access to their possessions as quickly as possible. Long trips between a storage unit and your residence are not that ideal.
- Video camera surveillance: knowing who enters your storage unit should be a minimum requirement for any storage facility. If something happens, you’ll have the confidence knowing it should be on tape.
- Individually alarmed units: if you are going to be storing high ticket items, this should be a strong consideration. While video surveillance and electric gates are beneficial, an individual alarm goes one step further.
- An electric gate with coded or keyed access: Having these features is pretty standard for most self-storage companies, so if they don’t have it; I would not settle.
- On-site managers: Knowing there is an actual person present to ensure there are no issues is just another excellent perk for the best storage companies.
- Pest protection: While protecting your possessions from mold and mildew is critical, so is keeping pests out that can destroy your things.
Final Thoughts on Climatically Controlled Storage
Like anything else, it is essential to do your due diligence when selecting a storage unit. Seek out as much information as you can before making a final decision. Hopefully, you have enjoyed these tips on what you need to know about climate-controlled storage.
You should now be well-armed to pick a storage unit nearby.
Other Valuable Moving Resources
See these previously published moving articles at Maximum Real Estate Exposure to get more helpful advice.
- The best moving tips – moving can be really stressful and challenging. It is backbreaking work. Use the advice found in the article to make your move go easier.
- Who are the best moving companies – see a comprehensive review of some of the top movers, especially when you are moving a long distance.
- Renting a moving truck – understand all of the most vital considerations when you’re going to be doing the move yourself and getting your own moving truck.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on the things that require climate-controlled storage was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 34+ years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.