Top 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Self Storage Facility

Whether you’re moving home, moving abroad or moving forward with your new business, self-storage can provide a convenient, cost-effective storage solution that could make your life a great deal easier.

But before you jump at the first reasonably priced storage facility you come across, it’s crucial that you know exactly what you’re signing up for.

In this article, we list the five most important questions you need to ask any storage facility before you sign on that dotted line. While everybody’s storage needs are different, these essential questions will help you understand whether a company’s storage services are fully aligned with your storage needs.

 

1.    What type of self-storage do you offer at your facility?

Indoor vs Outdoor storage

Self-storage facilities will generally offer either indoor or outdoor storage, while some larger facilities may even offer both.

With indoor self-storage, all storage units are housed under one roof and accessed via the main entrance of the facility. This helps protect stored items from the elements and keeps storage unit temperature consistent throughout the year. However, accessibility is limited with indoor self-storage as you cannot simply drive straight up to your unit.

Outdoor self-storage has the advantage of allowing customers to drive right up to the door of their storage unit. There’s no need to lug your storage items through the corridors of an indoor storage facility to the door of your unit. While accessibility is definitely a big benefit with outdoor storage, the weather can be an issue. Your storage items may be more susceptible to outdoor elements and, if the storage units are not fully secured and waterproof, it can lead to damage from water and pests.

Climate controlled vs non-climate controlled

Most indoor storage facilities will have some form of climate control, either naturally because the facility is enclosed or artificially via an air conditioning unit. While some outdoor storage facilities may offer climate controlled units, it is not the industry norm. Non-climate controlled storage facilities are generally cheaper because their maintenance costs are cheaper.

Whether or not you should opt for a climate-controlled unit will depend on what you want to store and how long you plan on storing it.

If you are storing household furniture for a couple of months as you move house, climate control will probably not be necessary. On the other hand, if you are storing wooden antiques or important paperwork for a number of years, you’ll probably want humidity and temperature control to prevent the wood from warping or to protect the documents from the mould.

Other types of self-storage:

  • Warehouse storage – storage facilities consisting of large, open buildings where all customers’ storage items are kept in one expansive room. Warehouse storage can be cheaper than other types of self-storage but it comes with an increased risk of fire damage as fires spread quickly in open-plan buildings (more of this later).
  • Storage containers – storage facilities that allow customers to rent container storage units (typically shipping containers) to store their belongings in. While container self-storage is generally outdoors and doesn’t offer climate control, they allow easy access for cars and vans.
  • Lock-up storage – garage-style storage facilities where customers are assigned an outdoor ‘lock-up’ unit. While lock-up facilities offer one of the cheapest self-storage options, they generally don’t offer the level of security provided by a warehouse or container self-storage facility. In most cases, the garage padlock is the only security measure in place.

2. What security measures do you have in place at your facility?

The safety of customer storage items should be the number one priority of any storage facility.

While no two storage facilities are the same, there are some fundamental security measures that a storage facility needs to have in place before you seriously consider them:

 

  • 24-hour CCTV surveillance
  • Security alarms
  • Fire alarms
  • Heavy-duty padlocks
  • On-site personnel
  • Fully trained and vetted staff
  • Secure code access system

 

3. How accessible would my storage items be?

Renting a storage space from a professional, high-security storage facility is one thing, gaining access to and from your storage unit is another.

It’s hard to beat outdoor storage facilities when it comes to accessibility. This type of facility generally allows 24-hour access, where customers use their unique code to gain access through the security gates.

Indoor storage facilities tend to be less accessible. Most of these facilities will only allow access during office hours when the building is open. While this generally includes weekends and evenings, it is still not the round the clock access that outdoor facilities offer.

As discussed above, warehouse facilities and other forms of indoor storage will require extra effort moving items from your vehicle to the door of the storage building and then to your unit or vice versa.

 

4. Are your storage facilities water and fireproof

Fire damage protection

In the past year alone, there have been two major storage facility fires: the first was in a Shurgard depot in Croydon at the start of the year, while the other was at a Storing.com facility in Bedford in November. Hundreds of their self-storage customers watched their precious belongings go up in smoke.

Both of these buildings were open-plan, warehouse-style storage facilities.

While there is no way to remove the risk of fire completely, outdoor and containerized storage units are generally safer from fire damage. This is because fire spreads much faster in open-plan buildings where air circulation is good and there are no walls to slow them down.

Individual rooms and steel containers slow fires down and give emergency services the precious time they need to get fires under control.

While lost storage facilities have efficient fire alarms (with some even having sprinkler systems), outdoor container storage facilities offer your storage items greater protection from fire.

Water damage protection

Water damage is less of an issue with indoor storage facilities but high humidity can still damage delicate items and encourage mold and mildew. In the UK, we luckily don’t have the extremes in temperature and humidity that warmer climes do but climate-controlled units can still offer complete protection.

It’s crucial that any outdoor self-storage facilities ensure their units are completely protected from the elements. Even a small amount of water leaking into a storage unit can lead to mold growth and prove disastrous.

Ask your prospective storage facility if they can guarantee that their storage units are waterproof and, if not, how can you make sure your belongings are covered in worst-case scenarios…

5. Do you offer self-storage insurance?

Sometimes, despite all of the safety precautions a storage facility might take, fires, theft and extreme weather can still damage stored items.

While there is no way to truly replace sentimental belongings or unique items, financial compensation can offer some level of consolation.

Traditional contents insurance will generally not cover your storage items so you will need to take out special self-storage insurance to cover your stored items against theft or damage.

Some storage facilities will offer to insure your goods as an additional storage service but, as with choosing a storage facility in the first place, it’s always worth shopping around to get the best deal.

Flexible Storage

At Flexible Storage, we offer adaptable self-storage insurance policies as well as secure document and self-storage to individuals and businesses alike. Supplying storage services across London, Kent, Essex and the rest of Home Counties, our storage containers are both water and fireproof. Get in touch with us today to receive a free insurance quote or to learn more about our self-storage services.

1st December 2019 / by / in ,
You Must Read These Advantages of Storage Buildings for Logistic Businesses

When it comes to logistic, businesses know that the role of storage buildings are important and crucial. It is an integral part of supply chain management. Apparently, it is not just a storage building where the stock of the business is kept for shipping and delivery, storage buildings reduce costs for both consumers and suppliers. Storage buildings are a must for small logistics businesses and a necessary expense needed for the growth of the business. It boosts the productivity of your business and thus eventually results in an increase in profit. Let us see some significant advantages that you avail from Mini storage buildings if you are foreseeing your future in the logistics business.

Better Inventory Management

A business report reveals that around 8% of small businesses avoid tracking of inventory in the business and you will be surprised to know that 24% of small businesses do not have inventory at all. This results in delays in shipments, delay in the processing of customer orders and so give a poor impression of your business services. This also helps in identifying the need for further stock and businesses will make timely arrangements for alternatives.

Provides a Central Location to Your Business

Tracking business activity is easy if you have a storage building at a central place of a city or town. Managing your inventory is also facile. Investment in Mini storage buildings is will not only give you a wide storage space but also facilitate in shipment and distributing of products effectively and efficiently. Having a convenient location helps the businesses to better treat their customers and thereby raise the credibility in the market.

Better Packaging and Processing

Many of the storage building facilitates with equipment and supplies that businesses need to store goods, move them, package and processing of orders from customers. This provides the business houses to gather all the things at one place. So, logistic businesses can save a lot of time and money which they can invest in further expansion of their business. This helps in maintaining flexibility as well.

Superior Customer Service

The level of customer service decides the goodwill of your business among the clients and customers. It is very important these days where the level of competition is continuously increasing, and customers are open to a lot of choices in the market. It is very important for businesses to keep their customers satisfied and happy if they want to retain them in the business.

Better Risk Management

Keeping goods in a storage building, logistics businesses make wise decisions because they not only provide a spacious place to store the goods but also helps in managing the risk of perishing goods, if they deal with such goods and products. This also helps in protecting from price fluctuations. Although the level of risk depends on the nature of the business one can’t deny that every business has some or other kind of risk. Warehouses and mini storage buildings with climate-controlled storage deal with it better.

Ensure Price Stability

There are many products whose demand fluctuates with the passage of time. This helps the businesses to keep the price stability in their business because it would be then difficult to build up a strong customer base. Many times, due to government policies, climatic conditions, etc. the prices of some commodities fluctuate a lot. At that time, goods stored at an earlier point of time helps in ensuring price stability and thereby retain your customer.

Conclusion

Logistic businesses are all about transport, packaging, and providing such services. It is quite helpful for such businesses to hire or buy storage buildings in order to avail of the above-mentioned benefits of it. Warehousing is a very essential part of any business and it helps positively in the growth of the business. Although many of the businesses treat it as an expense there are a lot of benefits as you have seen above. I hope it helps!

29th November 2019 / by / in ,
Three Things to Consider Before Deciding Where to Move

You’re Moving Home

Moving home is a really exciting time. You could be moving to a new city for a new job, to be closer to your family or friends – or perhaps you just fancy a change. Some of us tend to move more than others, but research from Zoopla revealed that the average person moves every 23 years. It might not be quite that long for you, but it shows if we’re moving we want to be moving to the right place….

16th October 2019 / by / in ,
Thinking Outside Of The Box – Items You Should Never Put Into Storage

Whether you’re moving house or just looking to clear some space in your home, self-storage facilities are a great way to keep your belongings safe. Although self-storage is a great solution for your furniture and other household items, there are a few things that should be kept away for legal, hygiene and just plain common sense reasons.  We’ve put together our guide to things that should never be kept in your self-storage unit.

23rd September 2019 / by / in , ,
7 Tips to Make Moving Less Stressful for Your Kids

When it comes to changes, kids can be pretty sensitive to them. Everyday routine is something that kids enjoy and they prefer knowing when’s the time to eat, where can they go play, and which are the boundaries. However, when the family decides to move somewhere, kids can feel a bit confused or scared. That’s because you’re taking them out of their comfort zone and into something completely unknown….

11th September 2019 / by / in
How Storage Services Can Help to Declutter Your Home

Is your home currently extremely cluttered? If the answer is yes, you may be almost unable to move through your home without tripping over. Perhaps you are even almost embarrassed to invite guests over to your home, in fear of what they may think of your untidy home. It doesn’t have to be this way though! In this article, we will be discussing how storage services can help you to declutter your home. 

10th September 2019 / by / in ,
Tips to Safely Store Furniture in a Storage Unit

Storing furniture seems to be a very simple task. You just need to rent a unit in a self-storage facility, and then you (need) to transport the furniture from your house to the facility. That’s it. However, the way it will be packed and prepared for storing has a significant impact on the items’ condition. Although renting a self-storage unit is a great idea if you need some extra space, it also demands proper planning and preparation to be satisfied and to make sure that your belongings will not be damaged. We know the best tips and tricks on storing furniture, and we will share it with you in this article.  

6th September 2019 / by / in , ,
How To Choose the  Best Self-Storage Company Guide

Finding the best deal when searching for storage isn’t so simple. That’s the main reason we have created the article to help you out. Enjoy and comment if you liked it!

Keeping valuables safe is an important part of everyday life. In some instances, keeping your valuables safe means you can’t use them in your daily life, but you also can’t get rid of them. In these instances, turning to self-storage can save the quality of your valuables and leave you assured that your things are safe and secure, but when you want to find the best self-storage, educating yourself on all of your options is the best way to go. Because of this, we created an easy-to-read guide to help you be on your way to protecting your items.

3rd September 2019 / by / in
Top 5 Stress-Busting Apps to Make Your Move Easier

When the time comes to move home, it can quickly become a taxing experience if you aren’t on top of everything. In fact, a survey by E.ON found that a house move is the most stressful life event, with 62% of people ranking it over the likes of a breakup, divorce, or starting a new job.

Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to simplify and organize the process, including using some helpful apps to get your relocation in order. Below, we’ve rounded up five of the best apps on the market, each of which will make various aspects of your move easier.

1st September 2019 / by / in
Advice on How to Prepare Your Items for Storage

Advice on how to prepare your items for storage

Whether you are clearing out a space to make more room or you are looking to keep certain possessions stored away in a safe manner, it is important that you know how to properly prepare your items for storage. This means that you will get more space out of your storage area as items will be packed efficiently and you will also be able to pack them in such a way that prevents them from being damaged. The last thing you want to happen it to store your valuable possessions only for them to be corroded by factors like dampness or dirt.

18th August 2019 / by / in