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What To Look For In A Safe, Clean Storage Unit

by Ted Davidson

There's a lot that can be hidden by a smart, cheap building manager. Cracks can be covered up, infestations temporarily stalled and broken features sealed up for a good appearance at first glance. It happens in homes and apartment buildings, and it can certainly happen at a storage facility. To protect yourself and to build the credibility of storage facilities deserving of your business, take a look at a few issues that could betray a problem in your future storage unit.

Tracking Down Cracks In The Building

Storage units are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and quality levels. Some storage units are sheds with rolling doors that can protect your goods, but may not completely seal off the outside air. Moisture from natural, passing humidity and normal rainfall could bring a bit of dampness to your goods, but not all belongings need a totally dry, secure setting. If you're paying for a more advanced, air conditioned unit, keep an eye out.

An air conditioned, climate-controlled unit is nearly useless if there's too much exposure to the outside world. A perfect seal isn't always a guarantee, but cracks in the wall or a crooked door shouldn't be tolerated. You can spot cracks in walls and corners with the naked eye, but you'll need to look carefully and search the walls inch by inch.

Unfortunately, foundation cracks can be painted over. While some filling materials can promote a good enough seal, the crack can widen over time if not permanently fixed by replacement or installation of new wall material.

A building inspector can track down hairline cracks that are painted over, but if you're not willing to spend on a full inspection and would like a brief method to track down cracks just get a bucket of water. Close the storage room door, dip your hand in the water and pass your hands across the walls slowly.

Door Security Inspection

The air inspection can be performed on door frames. If there's a dangerous amount of air coming through the cracks, you'll be able to feel the cooling air against a drenched hand more easily. The same should be done near the door, as some doors that were previously kicked in order otherwise infiltrated may reveal some leaks. 

If the door has a few cracks in the seal or no seal at all, request that the door be replaced or modified. Even if the door lacked a seal originally, a storage facility manager can add new weatherstripping to seal off any gaps.

Avoid units with damaged or dented doors, and keep an eye out for any crooked doors that may have been hung incorrectly. If it's for the safety of your belongings, a crooked door may be evidence of a previous break-in and weakened security that needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Contact a storage facility manager to discuss available units, safety and cleanliness by keeping bad weather and infiltrators out.