If you have decided to store some of your belongings at a self-storage facility, then these selected belongings are surely valuable to you and the last thing you would want is to have something bad happen to them due to your wrong choice of a storage facility. Price, of course, is one of the most important factors to take into account, but deciding on a self-storage facility based solely on how much you will have to pay for the service is definitely the wrong approach here. When you’re choosing the right self-storage facility for you, remember that the old axiom that you get what you pay for rings truer than ever before.
Besides price, here’s what to look for when choosing a self-storage facility:
Before you rent a self-storage unit, you must be absolutely sure that the storage facility in question has excellent security so that your precious items are safe at all times. Good self-storage facilities are equipped with a number of modern security features for guaranteeing the well-being of your items and your peace of mind.
- Surveillance system. You need a good surveillance system whose cameras monitor not only the exterior area but also the interior of the facility, including the hallways. This way, no authorized intruder or illegal activity will go unnoticed.
- Fence. The fence should surround the entire complex and be in good overall condition – no rust, no holes, no cuts and no broken supporting poles.
- Gate. Of course, the storage premises must be securely gated to keep unauthorized visitors away. Is there a keypad-equipped gate that only the right access code can unlock? It’s important to know that once you get inside the self-storage facility, especially after the official business hours, you will be as safe as your items stored in the storage unit.
- Storage unit door. The door to your self-storage unit should be in good condition with no visible problems whatsoever. It should open and close easily, and its seal should be tight when the door is closed in order to prevent water from entering the storage space. The door latch – the spot where you will place your personal lock, should look strong enough and in good working condition.
- Live guards. Some great self-storage facilities will also provide live security guards as an additional safety measure against any ill-intentioned acts. Inquire whether such security personnel will be available on site.
- Additional security. The presence of adequate fire prevention systems, fire alarms and fire suppression systems (for example, sprinklers) is a clear sign that you’re choosing the right self-storage facility for your valuable possessions.
Great overall condition
Here’s another set of essential features you should look for when choosing a self-storage facility.
- Structures. The storage buildings should look in good shape with no noticeable structural damage of any kind. Holes along the structure can be a sign of leaks or pest infestation so if you spot any holes regardless of their size, look for another storage facility.
- Cleanliness. The premises should be clean, tidy and clearly tended to. Scattered trash around the area means lower maintenance standards which can lead to a load of troubles for you later. You want a storage facility that is very clean and well-kept, period.
- Loading docks. Good storage companies provide high quality loading docks to their valued clients. The availability of such loading docks, which should be appropriate for both cars and trucks, is a clear sign that your experience at that self-storage facility will be problem-free.
- Parking space. Looks for a storage facility that provides plenty of convenient parking places with direct access to the self-storage units.
- Access. Best self-storage facilities offer 24-hour unlimited access to their customers. But even if a storage facility has limited hours of operation, you must make sure that these business hours are reasonable enough so that the place will be open when there’s a high chance that you need any of your stored items.
- Good occupancy. A good level of occupancy is always a positive sign that your household items will be in good hands.
- Enough illumination. Light is essential for a good self-storage solution. You need a self-storage facility that is well-lit regardless of the time of day or night. The overall illumination should offer a great level of visibility so that you can avoid any types of injuries while you’re handling your stuff.
There are many factors to consider when choosing your self-storage facility, but if the on-site personnel are rude, ignorant or simply as useless as a screen door on a submarine, then you should just turn around and look for a great storage facility with polite, knowledgeable and really helpful staff. A friendly property manager is definitely another plus which you should consider when choosing the right self-storage facility for your valuable possessions.
In short, what to look for when choosing a self-storage facility? You need affordable price, first-class security, impeccable overall condition and excellent service. And most importantly, you need to tour the self-storage facility in person first and then to reach the right informed decision.