At some point or another in life, you may have to store personal belongings in one of those “self-storage” facilities. When you place your boxes and furniture in the storage unit, the contents are fresh in your mind. Perhaps your goal is to declutter your life. In all likelihood, you take due care in arranging everything neatly so you can find one thing or another in a quick drive-by moment. As time rolls on, however, your memory of what’s where likely fades. Be careful not to let your treasures degrade to junk over the years. Here are some junk removal pointers for the Greater Pittsburgh, PA, and surrounding areas in Allegheny County.
There are two main types of storage facilities: climate controlled, and not. Along with big differences in the price for each, there are big differences in the environments.
Climate controlled units are often indoors, protected from the elements by sealed doors so outside temperatures, dust, rodents, etc. don’t penetrate the storage. Non-climate-controlled units tend to be dirtier with more bug and rodent infestations. Yes, you’ll notice rat traps along the perimeter of almost every storage facility. But don’t be fooled. Mice, rats, squirrels, birds and other critters find their way into them, nonetheless.
How Treasures Degrade to Junk
Here’s what you’ll find in a non-climate-controlled self-storage unit if you use it for an extended period of time (years).
- Papers, books, magazines and photos: Rodents will make nests out of your contents. Pages will yellow faster with age. Printing and colors will fade with the extremes of winter and summer temperatures. In some cases, the ink on pages will stick together. And the glue used in bindings will dry out, crack and fall apart.
- Cushions, cloth, leather, and upholstery: Rodents will eat through the outside and tunnel throughout the inside. Temperature changes will make deteriorate the leather, causing cracks. Cloth will get moldy and fall apart.
- Plastic, vinyl, and rubber: Over time, materials will get brittle and crack. Finishes will delaminate. If you are storing appliances like a washing machine or dishwasher, gaskets and seals will dry out and fall apart. Motor-driven belts will dry out and crack. Motor windings will corrode or rust.
The list goes on. It’s a pretty bleak picture. For these reasons and more, think carefully before choosing a non-climate-controlled unit for long-term storage. The money you save in monthly fees can easily be lost in replacing your contents if they’re damaged over time.
It does happen that treasure can turn to junk due to years of humidity, temperature, dirt, and infestation. If it happens to you, in the Pittsburgh, PA, area you can call upon Get Movin’ Moving and Storage to help. We’re happy to help if some things can be salvaged—We’ll put it aside for you. For the rest of the contents that need to be hauled away as junk removal, we’ll take care of the problem and eliminate the headache.