Mobile storage containers are the choice for storage by many businesses across the USA. Retail stores, hotel chains and construction companies are among those who use storage containers on a regular basis for all sorts of inventory storage and secure equipment management.
A common concern from businesses regarding storage containers is how extreme temperatures affect the items inside storage containers. The answer can vary. Depending on the location and the duration of storage, the local climate could start to show signs of impacting the durability of items in storage. Some items may not be suitable for long-term storage in harsh climates, and there are some general precautions that will help to keep problems from arising specifically in hot or cold conditions.
Severe weather conditions can impact or damage certain items in a mobile storage container. These items could include goods like computer equipment, electronic equipment and personal devices, furniture made with natural fabrics like leather or wood, and even oil paintings, paper photographs, books and more. Over a length of time in extreme heat or cold, items like these could begin to deteriorate. If your location features these weather conditions, solutions exist to help you gain peace of mind of your belongings. Let’s explore this below.
Common Climate-Related Concerns
Heat, humidity, and wet weather are the main climate issues that can arise when it comes to storage. Although most items in storage containers are likely to survive well through warm temperatures or even high humidity, water leakage into a storage unit can cause all kinds of problems. Some of these problems from water leakage include metal rust, damage to storage boxes, and buildup of unhealthy or even dangerous molds that are hard to eradicate.
The good news is that modern steel storage containers, like those offered by Mobile Mini, are resistant to water infiltration because of their sturdy construction. Additionally, the optional cargo doors on some models seal tightly, preventing even small amounts of water leakage. This is a level of protection that greatly exceeds even your home garage, whose doors are not designed to be water tight.
Hot Climate Issues
To minimize the buildup of heat and humidity, mobile storage units feature interior ceiling insulation. This feature helps reduce heat buildup on hot, sunny days. Also, airflow vents allow air to flow through the container. Cross-ventilation suffices under most conditions to keep temperatures and humidity levels within an acceptable range for storage in warmer climates. This ventilation works well to protect products in storage containers.
When better climate control is needed, Mobile Mini is able to custom-create a storage unit with wind turbines, air conditioning, and heating, as needed.
Cold Climate Issues
What about using mobile storage units in the extreme cold? Storage units were subject to one of the coldest winters on record this past winter in the US. The bone-chilling temperatures and large snow amounts affected construction sites, retail chains and other areas where storage containers were used.
Generally speaking, most common storage items won’t be damaged by cold, as long as they are not exposed to excessive moisture from condensation. However, to ensure successful storage under cold conditions, it’s a good idea to take precautions and consider which items are appropriate for storage in the cold and which may more appropriately and safely be stored at home or in a climate-controlled storage facility.
Guarding against the effects of moisture is a key priority for storage container users. Moisture can build up through simple condensation in the cold. Typically, the cycle of warming and cooling between day and night can lead to the progressive infiltration and accumulation of moisture and ice. This can eventually cause damage to cardboard boxes or other water-sensitive materials during periods of thawing or when the weather warms up in the spring.
Using a well-sealed cargo container is a good first step. As mentioned above, cargo doors offer a better seal than the more convenient roll-top, garage-type doors. If storing cardboard boxes, it’s important to seal them, for extra protection of their contents, and to store them off the floor, either in shelving or on pallets.
Moisture buildup and pest infiltration are at their worst on the cold floor of the container. For that matter, covers and even plastic bags and tarps will provide an added degree of protection against moisture. Dark colors, even in the relative dark of the storage container, absorb and transmit heat through infrared radiation that can help prevent condensation.
Storing Cars and Other Motorized Equipment
Additional precautions are a good idea for the storage of motorized equipment and cars. Motorized equipment should be cleaned and oiled before storage to prevent the accumulation of rust. The use of fuel stabilizer is recommended, as it helps to prevent corrosion in the fuel lines and engine. Also consider using jack stands or wood blocks to raise the tires, as they can harden and crack in the winter on a cold floor.
Finally, there are things that probably shouldn’t be stored in the cold at all and are better left at home or put into a climate-controlled container. These include electronics, for one, which have solder joints that can crack and metal parts that can rust. They also include any delicate or sensitive clothing, furniture, and artwork, including leather, crafts and paintings and antiques.
Regardless of what you want to store or what the conditions may be, you can always get sound advice from storage experts at Mobile Mini, who understand the complications of storage under special conditions and who have the most complete and up-to-date knowledge of the products and strategies for safe storage under all conditions.