With winter approaching fast, many homeowners are preparing to store items for the winter, particular outdoor items that need to be moved to prevent damage from snow and ice. When you store items for the winter, however, it’s important to prepare them for storage beforehand and to be smart about how you store them. Here are five things you’ll want to keep in mind when storing items for the winter:
1. Make Repairs Before You Place Items in Storage
It can be tempting to hold off on necessary repairs since you won’t use whatever you’re storing for at least a few months, but since most people don’t remove items from storage facilities until they’re ready to use them, making repairs beforehand is a better idea. Besides, if you wait to get things repaired until the last second, you’ll probably end up paying more for repairs since they’ll be needed on short notice.
2. Clean Items Thoroughly
Before storing any items for the winter, be sure you clean them thoroughly. This is especially important for outdoor items like grills, lawnmowers or sprinklers, as they’re probably coated with dirt and moisture from being outdoors, and maybe even insects. To be sure that your items don’t suffer damage while in storage, make sure they’re completely clean before storing.
3. Consider Climate-Controlled Units
If you’re using a self-storage unit, you should check if the business has options for climate-controlled storage. This can be crucial if any items that you’re storing can be damaged by extreme cold or moisture, such as electronics and items that include liquids. If this is the case, then climate-controlled storage can be well worth the extra investment.
4. Prepare Vehicles for Storage Carefully
If you’re storing a car or motorcycle for the winter, you need to be sure you prepare it for storage. All trash should be cleared from the vehicle, particularly food or food wrappers, as these can cause mold and attract rodents. You’ll also want to inflate your tires before storing the vehicle, as they will slowly lose pressure during storage and can lose pressure even faster in colder temperatures. Finally, you’ll want to consider using fuel stabilizer, as many forms of gasoline have a shelf life of only three months or so.
5. Keep Items Covered
Keeping a cover on valuable items can help further protect them from moisture, cold and other causes of damage, but be sure you pick your cover carefully. Vinyl and plastic tarps can actually cause damage to some items and can trap moisture, so you’re usually best off opting for cotton or wool covers for winter storage.