City dwellers know this trade-off all too well—the perfect two-bedroom downtown or a cozy townhouse often comes with one small sacrifice: there doesn’t seem to be enough closet space. Despite all the buzz about modern, space-saving interior design, storage remains one of the biggest concerns that homeowners face, especially during a time of change. Self-storage units are one of the most popular solutions to this, but it’s not as simple as packing everything up and moving them into a unit. Every item you store has specific storage requirements to retain their shape, colour, and function. One of these is the temperature.
Climate controlled storage is the upgrade you need for storing wood and leather items, as well as prized art collections and photos and important documents. The consistent indoor temperature year-round controls humidity levels, ensuring that all your valuables are safely stored, protected from the highs and lows of the changing seasons, and preserved for future use.
Are you debating between getting regular or climate-controlled storage? Before you start packing and stacking the boxes, find out what exactly goes inside a climate-controlled storage unit and how it makes all the difference in keeping everything you love, but can’t bring with you, intact.
Wooden and Leather Furniture
Anyone who loves the earthy, rustic aesthetic knows that wood is one of the most beautiful, but also delicate materials. Too much exposure to moisture can cause wooden bed frames, nightstands, dressers, and tables and chairs to crack, warp, and even rot away. Humidity control in climate-controlled storage prevents all these from happening to your beloved pieces, so you can set them up again at your new home when you’re ready to take them out.
Like wood, even the most durable leather is sensitive to temperature changes, which can be a problem with extreme highs and lows as the seasons change. When left in a regular storage unit, leather furniture can be susceptible to moisture. While it won’t necessarily warp like its synthetic alternatives, it can still be prone to moisture, mildew, and discolouration.
If you’re moving to a fully-furnished place or a new city across the country, it makes sense to leave behind bulky home appliances like washers, dryers, dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators, and microwaves. But if you’re not giving them new homes or the move is temporary, the next best thing is to put them in a climate-controlled storage unit at least.
Temperature control provides guaranteed protection for electronic and mechanical parts, preventing cracks, rust, and permanent damage. Before placing appliances in storage, make sure that these are dry and clean, as well as disconnected from water hoses to eliminate any moisture that can cause mould and mildew buildup inside.
Life isn’t just about money, clothes, and a trendy house with matching furniture to boot—some of your fondest memories also come from treasured keepsakes, which could be both valuable and sentimental. Museums often chase after items like coins, stamps, comics, wine, and other collectibles, so if you’re a connoisseur of any of these, you might want to protect them from damage that can quickly degrade their value.
Climate controlled storage is the best way to protect your prized collectibles from damage caused by temperature changes and exposure to humidity:
- Coins: too much exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity can cause oxidation that damages the metallic composition of coins, resulting in toning or tarnishing.
- Stamps: when exposed to high temperatures and humidity, paper stamps can easily curl and stick on to surfaces, eventually causing tears, damage, and decreased value.
- Comics, magazines, and books: because all of these are made of paper, prolonged exposure to moisture can greatly damage them, which can be especially heartbreaking for old, rare editions.
Age Like Fine Wine
Wine connoisseurs know the age-old rule: fine wine tastes better, and is more valuable, over time. While leaving an opened bottle on the counter overnight won’t necessarily affect the quality and taste of a premium bottle, turning this into a habit can cause a wine to spoil. Serious wine lovers often look into wine storage, but even then, a lack of climate control and consistently cool temperatures can still cause your best bottles to acquire an oxidized, metallic taste—much like spilling and wasting glasses of gorgeous reds, whites, and roses.
Pianos, guitars, and drums are loved for the joy they bring through music, and the best way to make sure that they keep doing so is by storing them properly. Climate controlled storage ensures a consistent temperature for maintaining the structural integrity of strings, panels, and keys, especially as many of these instruments are made of wood.
- Pianos and Percussion: pianos and other similar instruments require extra care because extreme temperatures and humidity can damage the strings, keys, and wooden exterior through rust and corrosion. The wooden panels can also contract in extreme heat and cold, causing changes to the shape and form.
- Strings: aside from damage to the wooden body of guitars, constant exposure to heat can also damage the adhesives that hold the instrument together.
- Brass: trumpets don’t fare well in the heat, as not only do materials found in them (like felt, cork, and rubber) break down, but the warmth promotes a conducive environment for bacteria growth and faster corrosion, beginning in the mouthpiece.
- Woodwind: clarinets, oboes, and flutes need to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment. The changes in humidity can cause parts to shrink or swell, eventually becoming ill-fitting or uncomfortable to play before cracking.
Van Goghs, Picassos, and Pinterest Artworks
Artworks are some of the most valued treasures in history; owning a Picasso, or even a DIY Pinterest craft is a responsibility just as much as a pleasure. Even when gracing their walls, art lovers know that it’s best to position paintings away from the glare of the sun. In older, historic artworks especially, the canvas absorbs moisture over time and weakens, causing damage to the refined brushstrokes of a beloved picture. Storing these works in climate-controlled storage prevents damage caused by UV exposure and moisture, preserving their value.
For the artsy and DIY-savvy; art supplies, crafting equipment, and finished projects can be placed inside clear plastic bins that keep out dust and moisture before placing them in climate-controlled storage.
Clothes are a big part of who you are. Whether it’s what you wore as you walked down the aisle or a trusty winter coat that’s kept you from freezing while still looking elegant in the snow, they provide protection just as much as they define occasions.
It’s common to be constantly swapping out clothes in the closet with the change of the seasons. One of the best ways to retain their shape and keep fabrics dry is by storing clothes in climate-controlled storage. Before placing them in storage, make sure that these are properly washed and dried, and then placed in plastic storage bins to keep moisture and humidity out.
It’s true—paper trails still exist and are just as important in the digital age. Whether it’s personal or for business, such as inventory filings, customer receipts, and other documentation, all these papers need to be kept safe and dry with the fine print just as readable. A climate-controlled environment is a perfect solution for storing old, but still, important documents that you don’t retrieve every day. That’s because the humidity is paper’s number one enemy, as prolonged exposure can cause it to fade, discolour, or even dissolve altogether, leading to a massive loss of valuable information.
Photos and Keepsakes
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and behind every photo album is countless stories and memories. Photos are especially susceptible to fading, discolouration, and tearing when not properly stored. That can be as simple as leaving them out under the glare of the sun, or stacking them on top of one another, leading to the prints blending together and deteriorating. Before placing them in storage, make sure to store photos facing away from one another to prevent deterioration. Make sure that your unit comes with climate control to avoid further damage that eventually erodes the memories themselves.
TVs, computers, and gaming consoles are just some of the hottest gadgets in the market. You don’t have to be a techie to own them and know how they should be stored to ensure lasting use. After all, it’s no secret that electronics are just as much of an investment these days.
Climate controlled storage allows you to keep electronics safe and protected from damage caused by extreme temperatures. For example, the latest TVs are all built with plasma that doesn’t deal well with prolonged exposure to both extreme heat and cold, leading to screen damage. As well, humidity is just as much the culprit in causing moisture buildup that affects electronics much like water, causing rust and wiring problems.
To learn more about climate-controlled storage and what should go in it, call Jiffy Self-Storage at 416-745-4339 or contact us here.