A lot of people consider self-storage units as a place where they can safely stow ways almost anything they don’t have room for in their house or apartment. This, however, is far from the truth; aside from extreme temperature conditions, there is also poor ventilation, risk of theft, and other risks.
Most self-storage units do not have air conditioning and heating and are poorly ventilated, which can cause temperatures inside to go much higher than outside on hot summer days. Unless you are able and willing to pay around 20 percent or more for a climate- or temperature-controlled storage unit, you could be putting your stored items at risk of damage.
Most self-storage units are not theft-proof, locked only with a padlock. Often they have no on-site security and there is no promise against theft.
Here is a list of things you should never keep in your self-storage unit.
Art is something you don’t want to keep in a regular self-storage unit because of the risk of theft and the exposure to extreme temperatures. Art is best stored in temps that range from 21 to 24 degrees Celsius, or else artwork may expand or shrink, which will damage the painting or image. Valuable art can also make your storage unit a target for opportunistic thieves.
2. Family Heirlooms
Like with art, you should never store family heirlooms in a storage unit. Anything with sentimental value that cannot be replaced shouldn’t ever be kept in a self-storage container. If stolen or damaged, you can never get those items back. Furthermore, a non-temperature-controlled unit may cause corrosion and other damage to rings and other metal jewelry if left for any length of time without proper care.
The metal in electronics like televisions, computers, and cameras can corrode if left in a storage unit. If you want those items to work once you retrieve them, you should look for other options if you can’t keep hose items at your home.
Any delicate paper items will start to turn yellow with extreme heat conditions. Traditional storage units without climate control will put your photos at risk of being destroyed beyond repair.
5. Musical Instruments
Instruments made of wood are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in climate. Shrinkage and expansion of wood that could take place in excessively cold or hot temperatures can even cause parts to break off. Metal instruments can suffer from corrosion and rust if stored in a non-climate controlled self-storage unit.
6. Private or Sensitive Documents
Because self-storage units can be targets for criminals, you should never think them a safe place to keep your documents or hard-drives of computers that hold personal information for you or anyone else. All it takes is some bolt-cutters and an opportune thief or fraudster will have your personal information, credit card numbers, social insurance number, drivers licence number, and anything else you might think is inconsequential. Next thing you know, someone else is taking out loans or credit cards in your name, or worse.
7. Vinyl Records
Vinyl collectors tend to be very protective of their records, and for good reason. Vinyl can warp due to large temperature changes because of its extreme sensitivity to temperatures, and this could compromise or even destroy the ability to play the sound.
Like with art and wood, leather can expand or shrink when left out in extreme temperatures. Always store your leather furniture and clothing in climate-controlled spaces.
Antique furniture that is made of wood can shrink and expand in high or low temperatures. This can cause irreversible damage to delicate furniture. Further, high levels of humidity can cause swelling and warping inside regular self-storage units without climate control.