Water or Flood Damage
If you currently keep items in a self storage unit or you’re considering leasing a unit, keep in mind that there is always a slim possibility that you could be facing water or flood damage.
Flooding doesn’t happen only after a hurricane or heavy rainstorm. It can occur at any time due to poor drainage systems, summer storms, melting snow, a large construction project, or a broken water main. It’s hard to believe, but according to FEMA, even one inch of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
The following information provides guidelines on measures you can take to prevent flood or water damage later.
Protect Yourself Against Flood or Water Damage
As an extra level of security against losses due to water damage, look into flood insurance coverage and tenant protection plan options.
If you live in an area of the country where natural disasters are common, you might want to consider flood insurance. Standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t include coverage for damages due to flooding, and federal disaster assistance kicks in only when there is a Presidential disaster declaration. Discuss your flood insurance options and your off-premises coverage with your insurance agent. It’s worth the peace of mind to know that you’re protected.
Tenant Protection Plan
Find out if your self storage facility offers a tenant protection plan. If so, discuss coverage options with the manager of your facility. This can be an additional level of protection as many of these plans cover some water damage.
In addition to flood insurance and a tenant protection plan, there are other several preventative measures that you can take to protect your belongings.
When you organize your unit, stack valuable or sentimental items on your highest shelf or on top of items that are less expensive or meaningful to you. This will lessen the risk of damage from moisture to your valuables.
Store Items in Plastic Bins
Plastic containers will keep your items safe from moisture and the resulting mold and mildew. Try to purchase bins of identical size, and take the time to label your items for easy retrieval. Store important documents and valuable items in watertight containers.
Use Pallet Boards and Tarps
Pallets are a great way to keep your items off of the floor. They are the perfect solution for small businesses that use self storage for inventory, important documents, and office equipment and supplies.
Place pallets on the floor and cover them with plastic tarps before stacking your items. This will protect your bins and containers from sitting on a potentially wet floor. If you’re storing heavy items, check to be certain that the pallets can safely withstand the weight.
Use Shelving for Your Smaller Items
An alternative for storing your smaller items is shelving. There are lots of great options available that will provide you with a safe, convenient way to keep your belongings above the floor. Your storage unit can easily accommodate rack and wall-mounted shelving as well as standing and hanging shelving.
Cover Your Belongings with Nylon
You may not have heard this before, but covering your items with nylon can help prevent water damage that comes from above. You never know when a broken pipe or heavy rains can cause a leaking ceiling. If you wrap or cover your belongings with nylon, your stored possessions will have basic protection. A sheet of nylon is inexpensive and also a great barrier against dust.
Cleanup After the water or flood Damage
If your self storage unit has been subjected to flooding or water damage, visit the space as soon as possible after the event. Remove everything from the unit and clean and dry your items properly before restoring. If you find that some of your things have been damaged beyond repair, contact your insurance company as well as the manager of your storage facility. They will be able to guide you in the steps to take for reimbursement.
Don’t assume that you’ll never be faced with water damage or flooding. Unpredictable events are just that – unpredictable. Store your items carefully in plastic instead of cardboard. Shop for watertight containers, pallet boards, shelving, and nylon coverings. Organize your valuables for safety, and explore flood insurance and tenant protection plans. Utilizing fundamental prevention strategies is more than worth losing valuable or sentimental items.