SpaceMax Storage Blog

Factors to Consider when choosing Self Storage

Posted by Wilson Covington on Fri, Aug 19, 2011

There's no denying local self storage facilities in Atlanta seem to be popping up everywhere these days.  But they’re not all the same. And with multiple options, it's a good idea to know what to look for and expect in a storage facility.

What good self storage customer service looks likeA critical option to look for is climate controlled storage. We simply cannot stress this enough!  Whether you're storing furniture, clothing, books, pictures or other sensitive items, humidity and extreme temperature variations will wreak havoc on your belongings. If you’re not convinced, consider this: would you store your favorite winter clothes or precious family photos in a shed in the backyard?  Of course not, you'd prefer them protected in a dry environment such as your closet. But if you don't have the space, then an indoor, climate controlled storage facility is the answer, since your belongings will be in the same environment as your home.

An attribute as important as climate control is indoor-access versus outdoor-access facilities.  Once again, think of that backyard shed.  It's not uncommon after heavy rainstorms to find water has seeped under the door into the shed.  Anything on the floor will be wet.  It's just as easy for bugs and rodents to get under the doors or through construction gaps.  Standard storage doors have a loose rubber seal on the bottom which is sufficiently pliable for small intruders to breech.  Outdoor facilities advertised as climate controlled attempt to keep all such harmful elements at bay with a thin metal door and walls. Contrast these vulnerabilities to the protection of indoor facilities, which have insulated walls along with individual storage unit entrances from within the building. With indoor storage, you're much more likely to get the level of protection advertised.

Security is another essential issue to research when choosing a storage vendor.  Most storage companies offer insurance for theft, but it’s safe to assume you don’t want irreplaceable items stolen. When investigating options, be sure to inquire about history of theft at their location. What security measures does the storage facility have in place to prevent crime? You also want to be personally safe when visiting, so consider the safety of the immediate area in which the facility resides. Does your storage building have onsite security features such as 24-hour video surveillance cameras and coded security pads to access the building? If so, does the code work only for your floor or for the entire facility? Are there video cameras throughout the building or just at the entrance?  An informed manager should have the answers you need.

What about the cleanliness of a storage facility, is it really important? Absolutely! The idea here is fairly subtle: if a storage facility isn’t routinely and thoroughly cleaned, there’s a good possibility no one is monitoring for bugs and rodent infestations. The very last thing you want to find is a nest of unwanted guests tucked away in your unit! So visit the places you’re considering before making your final choice. And remember, seeing is believing, and be sure to verify the facility has a permanent, reliable pest extermination contract in place, before you trust them with your things.

Lastly, don’t ignore the importance of customer service.  Not necessary?  Nonsense, this is a service you’re paying good money for, and you should get its full worth!  An attentive manager or assistant should always be available during business hours when you call or stop in to report issues, make a payment, or ask questions. He or she is responsible for maintaining brightly lit hallways, fully functional security cameras, proper temperature and humidity levels, a clean environment, and the lobby fully stocked with carts and supplies to move and protect your belongings.  At some point during your stay, you’ll need a manager’s or other employee’s help, so trust your instincts when speaking with each representative of the facility you’re considering giving your business. After all, they’ll be in charge of the safe house for all your cool stuff!

John Rinehart, Manager of SpaceMax's Midtown/14th St Facility


Tags: indoor-access storage, self storage cleanliness, self storage pest control, self storage facilities, climate controlled storage, storage security, self storage quality factors, self storage customer service