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4 Things That Must Be In A Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

If you're in need of extra storage space, a rented unit provides many advantages. But before you begin calling local facilities for quotes, it's important to know whether or not you should invest in a climate-controlled unit. These are units that maintain a relatively constant temperature and humidity level all year long, and it could mean the difference between protecting your belongings long term or damaging them for good. If you're totally confused about what to do, here are four things that absolutely need climate-controlled self storage.


If you're tucking away things that are considered collectibles, it's best to go ahead and make the investment in a climate-controlled storage unit. Here are some examples and why it's so important to control their environment. 

Stamps. Humidity and heat can cause the corners of the stamps to curl up and lose their "stickiness," ultimately causing them to lose value.

Coins. Variations in temperature, particularly exposure to extremes, can expedite the oxidation process, causing the metal surface to look spotty and brown. Copper coins are especially vulnerable to humid environments and should be kept in areas that have less than 35% humidity

Comic Books. Keeping your comics in plastic bags can help, but even comic expert Trevor Van As recommends keeping them away from any place they might be exposed to high temperatures and humidity. This can protect the paper from warping and other damage.

Dolls. Whether your collection is made of plastic or paper mache, it's best to avoid extremes with these precious possessions as well. When the temperatures plummet, your doll can suffer from cracking, and when they skyrocket, you might notice warping and degradation of the plastic parts. 

Photos. Most people are aware of what can happen when a photo gets wet. But if the temperatures get too high, you're dealing with another issue altogether, as the color in the pictures can fade. It's generally recommended to store photographs in cooler temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees F to really make them last. 

Antiques or Other Wooden Furniture

Extra care needs to be taken with any wooden items you store, but furniture and antiques are particularly vulnerable due to their replacement cost and overall value. There are two particular threats to your wooden belongings when it comes to self storage:

  1. Extreme changes in temperature cause the wood to expand and contract, resulting in cracking and warping.
  2. Because wood is porous, high levels of humidity—if not addressed quickly enough—could lead to the growth of mold and mildew, eventually rotting your valuables. 

Appliances and Electronics

Appliances and other electronics are a biggie that often get overlooked when it comes to storage. Because they are made up of electronic and mechanical parts, they need to be kept in an environment that's stable and dry, otherwise you might be dealing with parts that rust and crack over time. What's worse is you may not know the damage is done until you plug it in, only to discover that the appliance longer works. 

Musical Instruments

For the same reasons those wooden and metal items need proper shelter, your instruments must have the same care. But take a look at a few specific examples to see why it's so important.

The Piano. Humidity is likely the worst enemy of this percussion instrument. Pianos have many action parts covered with wood, felt, and glue. And as you have probably guessed, the glue can break down and disintegrate if the moisture levels get too high. Additionally, the soundboard can shrink and swell, causing the piano to go out of tune faster, the felt that covers the hammers can deteriorate, and the wooden exterior can succumb to the same damage as any other wooden furniture. 

The Guitar. Moderation counts here. Too dry of an environment can cause cracking and warping, while too much humidity can lead to several problems like oxidation and breakage of the strings, mold and mildew growth, and failing glue joints. 

Whether you plan to store for a few months or a few years, a climate-controlled storage unit will go a long way in protecting all of your valuable possessions. Contact a company like Tysons Self Storage for more information.