There are a few things to consider when renting a storage unit, such as what kind of storage you'll need, how much storage you'll need, and whether you're planning on storing your things for a long or short period of time. One such consideration is whether to use a climate-controlled unit to store your things. This question comes from a reader who is wanting to store some of her mother's antique furniture in storage just until she moves to a bigger home.
What kind of stuff are you storing?
When most people think about climate controlled storage, they think about things they own that are valuable - paintings, antique furniture, fragile tapestries - but while value is important, it's not everything. Other items that can be affected by changes in weather are more personal, such as prized books, family photos or important documents. Anything made of paper is subject to mold, mildew, yellowing, and wrinkling in damp conditions. However, smaller items like paper-based objects can often be packed in weather-proof or at least moisture-proof containers before being placed in storage. But to be certain, I'd want to test the containers to make sure they won't let moisture in. Otherwise, think about renting a climate controlled storage space.
What is the value of the stuff you're storing?
If you can, assess the dollar value of what you need to store and make sure you have insurance to cover any potential damage. Your household insurance probably won't cover anything not stored at home, but make sure you review your policy thoroughly and talk to your provider to see whether you should purchase additional coverage.
If your stuff has sentimental value, then you need to make sure you rent a space where your stuff will be safe from damage.
How Long will Your Stuff be Stored?
If you're storing your stuff for a short period of time, you may not need to rent a climate controlled space. It all depends on length of time you need storage, what season you'll be storing it for and if there is any possibility of water damage.
For the duration of the time that your things will be stored, what kind of weather might your stuff have to make it through?
In many areas of the US and Canada, the weather is often unpredictable, changing from snow to rain in just a day. Weather is definitely a consideration and if you're pretty certain there will be wet, cold weather, then consider climate controlled storage to be sure your stuff will be safe.
Check the facilities before you rent
For climate-controlled storage, you should be able to have the temperature adjusted and it should be properly secured. Ask the usual questions of the storage facility that you'd ask if you were storing stuff that doesn't require a climate controlled space. Also find out if the storage facility provides insurance for your stuff or what kind of coverage they provide to ensure your things are safe and secure.