Not to make you overly concerned, but if you're looking at getting a storage unit for all of your valuable stuff, just know that there are a lot of different kinds of sneaky invaders that can come in and steal what you have packed into a storage facility, or damage it and decrease its value -- and not all of them are human. Read on to discover some of the best ways to protect yourself against these various types of thieves.
The Accidental Tourist
In some cases, people who just happened to be wandering around the storage area can actually get access to storage spaces and vandalize or steal some of the contents. Most storage facilities have good security installations in place to deal with this type of traffic. For instance, there may be a keypad needed to get through the front door. But at the same time, security at some places can be surprisingly lax. Just check to make sure you are storage facility has some kinds of barriers to random entry.
The Dedicated Thief
Criminals also target storage units, the same way that they may target homes and businesses. Some of them find storage units to be a lower risk, because people are not living or working in them.
Here, you want to look for elements like on-site security cameras and effective fencing. Without these types of installations, your personal belongings are left vulnerable to the work of professional burglars.
Rats and Mice
A smaller kind of thief only needs a hole about the size of a half dollar to get in. It's just as important for storage facilities to stay vigilant about rodents and other similar types of pests in their customers' storage units. You don't want a family of possums being born next to your heirloom furniture, or mice trying to make a winter home in your vinyl records. Look for any evidence of rats and mice, including feces and chewed holes, when you inspect the facility, and if you see things like poison spread around, ask the managers how they're dealing with their pest control problem.
Aside from the risk of rodent invasion, bugs are also a serious problem in some facilities. Again, look for roach carcasses or other evidence of infestations when you visit a location, and keep up that vigilant observation when you start moving your stuff in. In some cases, storage unit renters will use their own traps or testers in a space to monitor it over time and make sure it's relatively bug-free.
Mold and Mildew, and Environmental Problems
Storage facilities need to take advantage of modern climate control measures to prevent dangerous mold from growing in the internal spaces, or excessive humidity from destroying the materials kept within. You may be able to spot these sorts of problems on a site inspection, or at move-in time. If the air smells musty, and you feel dampness inside a storage unit, ask the facility management about whether it's safe to store your belongings there.
Looking for these early warning signs can help you preserve the value of your possessions when you rent a storage unit.
To learn more, contact a storage facility like 1st Stop Storage.