When researching self-storage facilities, it can be easy to focus solely on price and proximity. While these factors are important, there are key concerns every consumer or business owner should discuss with potential self-storage providers.
Before you sign that lease, be sure to ask these five questions to help narrow down your options:
- What security features are offered across the facility, and in individual units?
Modern security technology has allowed facilities to provide comprehensive security for the entire facility, as well as individual units. In addition to lighting and perimeter fencing, ask if the facility has 24-hour video surveillance to monitor facility activity. Be sure to find out how frequently managers conduct property checks, and the steps taken if a problem arises.
Check the type of locks the facility offers for individual units. Recessed cylinder locks and round-disc locks are preferred features, because unlike traditional locks, they cannot be easily cut. If individual door alarms are offered, ask if the local police are notified if the alarm is activated. This ensures any break-ins are dealt with immediately.
- What steps are taken to keep the facility clean?
Because your belongings are important to you, a clean facility and unit are a must. Don’t be afraid to ask about day-to-day maintenance, as well as the cleaning procedures prior to move-in. Ask to tour the facility and see the storage units, so you can judge the level of cleanliness for yourself.
- What if I require assistance after hours?
Not every facility offers customer service outside of operating hours. In the event of an emergency, it’s important to know that you can reach facility representatives, even after hours or on the weekends. Know how and when to contact a facility manager for help when the main office is closed.
- Do you offer insurance?
Storage facilities do not insure the contents in a customer’s unit. The facility may offer an insurance program, or have preferred insurance providers that you can contact. If not, check with your personal insurance provider about options for insuring the contents of your storage unit.
- Is climate control available for humidity-sensitive items?
The majority of commonly stored items, including clothing, documents, furniture and electronics, require climate control to maintain their condition, even for short periods of time. Ask if this option is available, and if not, don’t be persuaded that it’s not important. You’ll be much happier with the condition of your stored items if you select a facility with this feature.
A Positive Storage Experience
To give you peace of mind, visit the facility to see the features first-hand, meet the staff and discuss your storage needs in-person. A knowledgeable facility manager will help you select a storage solution that meets both your needs and your budget.
By knowing the answers to these five questions, you will have the information you need to select a storage provider that will truly meet your needs and expectations. Ultimately, your storage experience will be positive if your belongings are kept safe and in their original condition.
What questions have you asked when selecting a storage facility? How did you decide?