Some things just don’t stand up to winter or they’re so beloved that you wouldn’t dare subject them to it. Constant temperature changes, freezing temperatures, and lingering moisture can all be a challenge to wood, metals, and older items.
When it comes to winter storage, if you have a few things that are too big to store with the things you use year-round or that are too delicate to be left in a dingy basement or drafty garage, then the Northern Colorado solution is Gateway North Storage in Firestone. Thanks to sealed, climate-controlled storage units, we can keep your valuables safe all through the winter!
Preparing Your Items For Winter Storage
While storage is a major component to keeping your items safe over the course of the winter, there are other things that can threaten your items besides the weather outdoors. There are certain things you should do for your items whether you’re storing them at home or with a storage facility. Here are some instructions on how to prepare your warm-weather items for their storage unit stay, especially if you choose not to use climate-controlled storage.
Storing Boats and Sport Utility Vehicles — If you choose not to use the climate-control feature in our storage units, there are things you’re going to want to do in order to make sure that the cold temperatures don’t negatively affect your engine or other mechanical components. Even if you do go with a climate-controlled unit, these are good steps to take to ensure the least amount of breakdown to your recreational vehicles.
- Change The Oil — Changing the oil is a good step to take before storage to ensure that you have clean, uncontaminated oil in the engine. You should also run the engine for a short time to circulate the oil. Not only will dirty oil be more prone to turning to “engine sludge,” but oil that has been contaminated with acids or water can corrode your engine when sitting for too long. For that reason, this is particularly important for marine vehicles.
- Remove Drive Belts — Removing drive belts can prove worth it for any vehicle going into storage for long amounts of time because remaining at such high tension combined with environmental factors can cause cracking. This is more important for those without climate-controlled storage.
- Fill Your Gas Tank — Whether your recreational vehicle is in a climate-controlled unit or not, filling your gas tank is a smart move. Condensation can form in the gas tank’s empty space if you don’t, which could speed up the breakdown of your gas tank and other components once you start the vehicle. A gas stabilizer should be added to the fresh gas as well, to ensure that the gas doesn’t lose its quality over the winter.
- Clean The Vehicle — Dirt may seem harmless, but when left over the course of a winter, stuck-on dirt and debris can help accumulate moisture and cause rust, cracked paint, and sometimes worse deterioration.
- Lubricate Essential Mechanisms — Whether a boat or sport utility vehicle, you should do your best to grease down any essential joints, cylinders, gears, or steering columns. Make sure to do this after you clean so you’re not spreading dirt around.
These are just basic steps to make sure your vehicle and its components last for the long haul. A good rule of thumb for someone who really loves their vehicle is to prepare your vehicle like someone’s about to drive it off the lot. That way, when you pull it out of storage, you’ll have something that feels like new.
Storing Patio Furniture and Camping Gear — The steps to preparing your patio or lawn furniture or camping gear for storage are a little more straightforward than preparing a vehicle. Again, most of these steps are advisable if you’re not using a climate-controlled storage unit, but even if you are, they can’t hurt.
- Clean and Prime Any Furniture — Dirt and debris can turn to mold and mildew while in a storage unit. All the furniture, whether a hammock or a plastic chair should be washed with whatever is suitable to the material and dried thoroughly before being put in storage. Wood furniture should be primed before storing to prevent cracking.
- Bring Them In Fast — Aluminum and metal chairs, as well as wooden furniture, can be threatened by the earliest snowfalls of the season. The rusting process can start if you don’t get the metal items in fast enough, and it can be hard to tell when wood is actually dry. Getting them in before they’re damaged and before they can carry moisture into your storage unit is key.
- Clean and Wrap Camping Gear — Storing camping gear correctly is important because it can be so expensive. For most camping gear, you should be treating it like clothing. Clean it, dry it, and wrap it tightly or seal it completely for storage. If not there’s always a chance for lingering bits of dropped food, bugs, or plain old dirt to be carried in with your goods. Any of those can mean a chain reaction that ruins your expensive gear. This is important even for climate-controlled units, as they don’t guarantee safety from insects. Keeping out pests is just as much a responsibility of the owner as it is of the storage facility
Storing Antiques — When it comes to storing older items in your storage space, a lot of the preparations you make will be to prepare the item for safe transport to and from the location of the storage facility. However, other preparations may have to be made for certain items and materials.
- Wrap Any Fragile Items — Wrapping fragile items in bubble wrap is a great way to give them some cushioning in the travel process, and it’s even better if you give them a layer of plastic with an airtight seal. That way, you’re protecting it from dents and dings and ensuring moisture stays out.
- Store Items Horizontally — Particularly pictures and mirrors, but really anything with a deteriorating frame or box should be stored horizontally so that the item can’t collapse under its own weight while in storage.
- Tables, Chairs, Etc — Any antiques that are susceptible to fading should be covered with tarps, plastic wrap, or old sheets to keep from being covered in dust. Even in the most controlled units, this is a concern. If you’re going to use something made of fabrics to cover your goods, make sure they are clean and dry in their own right.
- Treat Your Items — It can help maintain your antiques to add protective coatings before they go into storage. Wood furniture should be polished and leather should be given leather conditioner in order to give them the best chance at standing up to the elements.
Depending on the material they’re made of and the condition they’re already in, there are plenty of things you could do to prepare your antiques for storage. Whatever antiques you may be storing, a little preventative maintenance and a protective layer should be the basics of preparing older, valuable items for storage.
Store With Gateway North Storage In Firestone
After you’ve decided you need a safer place to store your items and you’ve made all the advisable preparations, you can trust Gateway North Storage in Firestone to protect your items through the winter. With a wide range of sizes and both climate-controlled and standard units, we have something to fit your items. Contact us today!