Finding a storage facility is easy. Finding a good storage facility requires more effort and consideration.
Whether you want to store your items at a full-service storage facility or use self-storage, there are essential criteria your storage company should meet.
Storage Facility Security
Of course, most facilities will profess to have security, but too often, customers find out too late that security is lacking. At a minimum, storage locations should have 24-hour camera coverage inside and out (recorded), an alarm system, and fully monitored keyed access. In addition, grounds fully enclosed by a security fence provide further protection.
Absent the minimum security precautions, customers may not know they’ve been a victim until they retrieve and unpack their belongings. This disconnect between items going missing and the realization of it makes it impossible to recover items and difficult to file a claim with insurance. Selecting a facility with well-implemented security precautions will prevent the loss in the first place.
Protection From the Elements
A well-maintained and climate-controlled storage facility will protect your belonging from the elements. Florida weather can be extreme. High temperatures, high humidity, and heavy rains are the norm. Absent the proper protection, these conditions can quickly ruin your belonging.
Storage buildings must be well maintained. Before signing an agreement, inspect the building where your items will be stored. From inside, look for daylight where there should be none, and look for evidence of standing or running water on the ceiling, walls, and floor. “Feel” the air. Is it too humid and stale due to no/low ventilation? Is the temperature acceptable? Failure to maintain proper conditions can lead to warping, mold, and mildew.
Check for a fire suppression system. Today, there are minimum requirements for fire protection, so you should be able to see it. Ask if you are unsure. All reputable facilities will be protected.
From the outside, walk around the building if possible. Look for evidence of standing water around the base of the building. Be sure the ground is graded to slope away from the facility. Look at the wall and the roof line for any gaps that may let rain through. It is difficult to recover from water damage, so minimizing the chance of it occurring is best.
Accessibility/Flexibility for storage
For short-term storage, you will likely not need access to your items. However, for longer-term or in an emergency, you may need access. Be sure you understand how the storage company can facilitate access to your items. For self-storage, it is easy enough. But, in warehouse storage, the facility personnel will need to assist you. Understanding the process beforehand will help things go more smoothly if you need access.
Beyond the storage facility itself, there are a few things to consider.
Properly Insure Stored Items
Even with the best precautions, things can happen. From mother nature to honest accidents, belongings can be damaged. Typically, homeowner insurance policies will cover off-premise items in a storage facility. But don’t assume. Talk with your insurance company if you have a homeowners policy. If you are between homes with no policy in place, you can purchase insurance for the stored items.
Where to store your belongings
When you are moving, several options may be available for storing your belongings if you cannot move directly between your old and new homes.
While self-storage may be an option, it is usually impractical. Both in terms of the logistics and the physical effort, using self-storage between homes is beyond what most people should try to handle.
Full-service moving companies offer all the moving services and provide short to long-term storage options. The storage can be arranged near your origin address or destination, even in long-distance travel. Deciding where to store your belongings will be influenced by cost and convenience should you need access. Discuss the options with your moving company.
To work with a mover that also provides best-in-class storage facilities, contact our office at Community Moving & Storage.