No matter where you live, winter can take a toll on self-storage facilities. As temperatures drop and snow starts falling, keeping your facility prepared for cold weather is important. The last thing you want is to deal with structural damage or be inaccessible to customers.
No matter what the conditions, customers expect to have access to their units. It can be bad for your reputation if tenants face doors that are frozen shut or water damage from frozen pipes.
Your chief responsibility is to keep your facility safe and open year-round.
A Storage Shield tenant protection plan can mitigate some of your problems, but it can’t control the weather. Your best move is to be proactive in protecting your property against freezing temperatures and icy conditions.
The following guidelines can help you keep your property safe and accessible when winter weather ambushes you.
Tips to Keep Your Property Safe and Accessible for Your Tenants
Prepare the Exterior of Your Property for Winter
It’s important to be proactive in protecting your facility exterior from the harsh winter weather. Start by inspecting the roofs of the storage units for any signs of damage or weakness. Clear any debris that may have accumulated, and clean gutters and drains. This will prevent water from pooling and freezing, which can cause leaks or structural damage.
Pay particular attention to the walkways and driveways of your facility. Inspect these areas for cracks or uneven surfaces that could become hazardous in icy conditions. Apply an ice melt product to prevent ice from forming, ensuring the safety of customers and employees.
Remember to have a plan in place for snow removal.
Establish Strategies for Snow and Ice Removal
Regular snow and ice removal is essential to maintain a safe and accessible environment for your customers. Before the bad weather begins, establish a snow removal plan that outlines the procedures for clearing snow and ice. This could involve hiring a professional snow removal service or assigning the task to designated employees. Make sure the plan includes a timeline for snow removal that specifies how soon it should be done after a snowfall.
As mentioned above, it’s critical to prioritize high-traffic areas such as driveways and walkways. These areas should be cleared promptly to prevent accidents and ensure easy access for customers and employees. Apply ice melt products after snow removal to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
Winterizing the Interior of Your Facility
While the exterior of your self-storage facility is important, don’t overlook the interior when it comes to winter maintenance. Properly insulated storage units prevent temperature fluctuations inside. Cold temperatures can be damaging to electronics or delicate fabrics. Make sure the insulation in the storage units is in good condition.
Avoid frozen pipes by insulating and heating the areas where water lines are located. Insulating pipes with foam sleeves or heat tape can help prevent freezing. It’s essential to keep temperatures above freezing in these areas, even if they are not in use.
Perform a quick check of windows, exit doors, and overhead garage doors for gaps. Repair broken sealant to prevent cold pockets of air in your facility. Use a weatherproof and UV-resistant sealant to get a clean finish.
Quick Tips to Ensure Safety and Accessibility During Winter Months
Take proactive measures, so you can provide a safe and reliable winter storage experience for your customers.
1. Clear snow and ice from entrances and exits promptly.
2. Be sure facility lighting is working properly to enhance visibility during darker winter days.
3. Regularly inspect and maintain security cameras and alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.
4. Communicate modified hours or temporary closures with your customers.
5. Have a contingency plan in place for power outages or other emergencies that may occur during winter storms.
6. Suggest a tenant protection plan to reduce the risk of huge financial losses in the event of an unexpected incident.
Don’t let winter catch you off guard. Take the necessary steps to prepare and maintain your self storage facility for the winter season. You’ll stay ahead of the cold and provide a reliable storage experience for your customers, all while protecting your investment and ensuring the long-term success of your business.