Check Your Long-Term Storage Unit For Damage

Posted on: 9 April 2016

If you use a storage unit to store personal belongings for periods of times exceeding six months, you need to make sure that you stop in every once in awhile and check your storage unit belongings for damage.

Inspect For Damage

When you open up your storage unit, the first thing you need to do is perform a general sweep and inspect for damage. Although your items should be secure in your storage units, sometimes water and pests make their way into storage units. 

First, look for signs of puddles on the floors or water stains on your boxes or furniture. If you notice any water or water stains inside of your unit, you need to notify management so they can address the underlying problem that resulted in water getting inside of your unit. 

Next, look for signs of pests. Are there any holes in your boxes that were not there before? That could be a sign that a pest made its way into those boxes. Are any of your furniture covers ripped? Can you see animal waste on the floor or on top of your boxes.

If you see any of the damage above, follow the steps below.

Water Damage

If you notice that any boxes have gotten wet, you are going to want to pull out all the boxes you think were exposed to the water. Open each box and inspect the items inside of the box. For items such as glass and plastic wear, the items may be undamaged and may just need to be transferred to a different box. If you were previously storing everything inside of cardboard boxes, consider switching to plastic boxes. It is much more difficult for water to get into a plastic box than it is a cardboard box. 

For items that are more absorbent, such as clothing, pillows, towels or rugs, you may need to take all the items out and wash them. If they have become infected with mold, you may just want to throw them away.

Make sure you work with management to address the cause of the water leak so you can safely store your items. 

Pest Damage

If you notice signs of pests, you are going to want to pull out any boxes that you think have been affected. You are going to want to go through the items and throw away anything that has become damaged. Then, you are going to want to repackage the rest of your items in more secure boxes, such as plastic storage bins.

Next, you need to figure out why the pests were attracted to your storage unit in the first place. Did you store food in your storage unit? If so, you'll want to get rid of it. Did you fail to clean all of your items before you put them in storage? If so, you may want to thoroughly clean all of your items inside of your unit to discourage the pests from coming back. 

If you can identify what type of pests were inside of your unit, you may also want to set up traps for them. 

If you use long-term storage, it is always a good idea to check up on your items and make sure that they have not been damaged by water or pests, and that they are making it through their stint in storage safely. Visit a storage facility, such as I-70 Self Storage, for more information.