10 Surprising things that need climate-controlled storage

Storage preparationSeptember 21, 2023

There are many things that need climate-controlled storage that you maybe aren’t aware of. If you wish to keep your stuff intact and in good shape, an adequate storage unit is a must. We’ll cover the 10 surprising things that would benefit from such storage units, so if you own some of these items, Zippy Shell Northern Virginia storage units would provide all the protection you’d need.

1. Musical instruments

Musical instruments need humidity-controlled storage because temperature and humidity fluctuations can harm them. Delicate instruments like violins, pianos, and guitars are particularly vulnerable. For instance, wood in violins can warp, while pianos may go out of tune in extreme conditions. Climate control ensures a stable environment, preserving the instruments’ structural integrity and sound quality. On the other hand, instruments made from synthetic materials like electric guitars may be less sensitive to climate variations and might not require it. Brass instruments like trumpets and saxophones are generally more robust and less affected by climate, though their finish can still degrade over time if not stored properly.

trumpet on a pillow
Different types of musical instruments require a different approach when storing them based on the materials they are made of.

2. Comic books and collectibles

Comic books and collectibles need the best climate-controlled storage Arlington VA has to offer because they are often made of materials that can deteriorate when exposed to extreme environmental conditions. High humidity can cause paper-based comics to become moldy and brittle, leading to irreversible damage. Fluctuations in temperature can also result in warping and fading of comic book covers and pages. Collectibles, such as action figures and toys, may have plastic components that can warp or degrade in heat. 

All in all, in a climate-controlled storage unit, comic books and collectibles can remain in excellent condition, ensuring their long-term value and enjoyment for collectors and enthusiasts.

3. Vinyl records

Vinyl records are extremely popular not just in the DMV area, but the entire US. If you own them but haven’t paid any special attention to how they are kept, you should know that they need this type of storage if you wish to keep them intact or later resell them. You need reliable storage units Northern Virginia has at its disposal to prevent mold and mildew, keep the record in its original shape, and maintain its sound quality. 

First of all, this type of storage prevents warping, as vinyl is prone to deformation when exposed to heat, ensuring records maintain their flat shape. Secondly, it preserves sound quality by mitigating the adverse effects of extreme temperature and humidity changes, which can lead to cracks, pops, and distortion in the grooves. Also, climate control inhibits the growth of mold and mildew, preventing damage to the record’s surface and sound quality. Lastly, it safeguards the paper jackets and labels, which can suffer discoloration, wrinkling, or detachment in humid conditions, helping maintain the overall quality and longevity of vinyl records.

A woman enjoying her vinyl records collection and wondering what are the things that need climate-controlled storage
To ensure the long-lasting quality of your vinyl records, store them in a climate-controlled environment.

4. Stamp collections

In standard storage units, stamps are susceptible to moisture damage, which can lead to mold growth, discoloration, and warping due to high humidity. Temperature fluctuations, especially in hot and humid conditions, can cause stamps to expand and contract, resulting in creases and wrinkles that diminish their appeal. Stamps often feature vibrant colors that fade when exposed to prolonged sunlight or UV radiation, gradually eroding their visual allure and market value.

Additionally, the absence of proper pest control measures in regular units exposes stamps to potential damage by insects or rodents. Furthermore, the paper-based nature of stamps makes them prone to oxidation and yellowing over time, further aging their appearance and reducing their desirability among collectors. Conversely, climate-controlled storage units Gaithersburg MD offers provide a stable environment with controlled temperature and humidity levels, effectively preventing these issues

5. Electronics

Temperature and humidity fluctuations can be detrimental to electronic devices, causing corrosion, malfunctioning, and even permanent damage. In a climate-controlled storage unit, a stable climate helps prevent these issues by maintaining optimal conditions. High temperatures can cause components to overheat, reducing their lifespan and causing circuitry to fail. Conversely, cold temperatures can lead to condensation, potentially damaging sensitive internal parts.

Humidity control is equally crucial. Excessive moisture can lead to short circuits and corrosion on electronic components, rendering devices useless. In contrast, a controlled humidity level prevents moisture-related problems and ensures that electronics remain in proper working order.

A motherboard, one of the many things that need climate-controlled storage
Electronics are things that need climate-controlled storage as they can easily short-circuit or break down in a sub-optimal environment.

6. Photographs and film

Changes in temperature can lead to the deterioration of both physical prints and the chemical composition of film negatives and slides. Extreme heat can cause photographs to curl, warp, and fade, while cold temperatures can make them brittle and prone to damage. Film, on the other hand, can become brittle and develop cracks when exposed to low temperatures.

To preserve photographs and film in a storage unit, pay attention to these factors:

  • Temperature Control: Maintain a stable temperature range, ideally between 55°F and 75°F (13°C to 24°C), to prevent damage from extreme heat or cold.
  • Humidity Control: Keep humidity levels between 30% and 50% to prevent mold and mildew growth, which can ruin photographs and film.
  • Darkness: Store photographs and film in light-tight containers or boxes to protect them from exposure to light, which can fade and deteriorate them.
  • Archival Materials: Use acid-free and archival-quality storage materials such as boxes, sleeves, and albums to prevent chemical reactions that can harm the photographs and film.
  • Handling: Always handle photographs and film with clean hands and use cotton gloves when necessary to avoid fingerprints and smudges.
  • Elevated Storage: Avoid placing items directly on the floor; use shelves or pallets to elevate them and protect against potential moisture from the ground.
  • Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your stored photographs and film to ensure they remain in good condition and make any necessary adjustments to the storage environment.

If you are serious about keeping your photos and films in a usable state, we recommend using storage units Frederick MD has on offer.

7. Medical supplies

Medical supplies require climate-controlled storage primarily to maintain their safety, effectiveness, and integrity. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can have detrimental effects on these supplies. Extreme heat can cause medications to degrade, reducing their potency, and rendering them ineffective or even harmful. On the other hand, cold temperatures can cause materials to become brittle and less reliable.

Proper storage in climate-controlled storage units Rockville MD residents recommend involves maintaining a stable temperature between 55°F to 75°F (13°C to 24°C) and humidity levels between 30% to 50%. Organizing supplies neatly, labeling them clearly, and using sealed, airtight containers can prevent contamination and ensure easy access and inventory management.

In contrast, storing medical supplies in a regular unit without temperature control can lead to various detriments. Medications can lose their effectiveness quickly, putting patients at risk. Surgical instruments may become less sterile, increasing the risk of infection. Additionally, the overall quality of supplies may deteriorate, potentially compromising patient care and safety.

A thermometer and medication
Pay special attention when storing medical supplies as some of them can become hazardous if exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity.

8. Artificial Christmas trees and decorations

Artificial Christmas trees and decorations may seem surprising candidates for climate-controlled storage, but they can benefit from it to maintain their usability and appearance. These items are often made of materials like plastics, fabrics, and wiring, which can deteriorate over time when exposed to extreme temperature and humidity conditions. In a temperature-controlled storage unit, a stable environment helps prevent these issues.

Before storing, clean all items to remove dust, dirt, and any potential pests. Ensure they are completely dry to prevent mold or mildew growth. Disassemble the tree and decorations to save space and reduce the risk of damage during storage. Also, store items in sealed containers to protect them from dust and pests. Label containers for easy identification. If possible, store items away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and damage to colors and materials. Finally, use shelves or pallets to keep items off the floor, preventing moisture contact. Avoid storing heavy items on top of delicate decorations.

9. Muscle cars and classic vehicles

Muscle cars and classic vehicles are revered for their historical significance, unique designs, and often, substantial financial value. These prized automobiles require climate-controlled storage units Alexandria VA has to offer to protect them from the adverse effects of temperature and humidity fluctuations. In the United States, where muscle cars and vintage vehicles hold a special place in automotive culture, these storage units have become crucial for preserving their pristine condition.

Extreme temperature variations, particularly excessive heat, can lead to material warping, cracking, or deterioration. High humidity levels can promote rust and corrosion, compromising the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of these vehicles. To maintain their current shape and protect their investment value, enthusiasts should store them in a climate-controlled environment with a stable temperature (ideally between 55°F to 75°F or 13°C to 24°C) and humidity levels (30% to 50%). Routine maintenance, including oil changes, fluid checks, and rust prevention treatments, is essential before storing these treasures.

Soft, breathable covers shield the vehicles from dust and protect their paint finishes while disconnecting or using battery tenders prevents battery drainage. Additionally, storing vehicles on jack stands relieves tire stress and avoids flat spots. Regular inspections for issues like leaks, corrosion, or pests should be carried out and addressed promptly to keep these cars in pristine condition.

Two muscle cars in a garage
Vintage cars benefit from climate-controlled storage, so make sure to learn how to properly store them to maintain their value and condition.

10. Collectible wine and whiskey

Collectible wines and whiskeys demand temperature-controlled storage units McLean VA has on offer to maintain their value, flavor, and quality. Fluctuations in temperature can lead to chemical reactions within the bottles, altering the taste and aroma of the beverages. Extreme heat can cause the liquids to expand and potentially push out the cork, exposing them to oxygen, which can spoil the contents. In contrast, cold temperatures can slow down aging processes, affecting the balance of flavors.

To store these treasures properly, maintain a stable temperature around 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C), as higher temperatures can accelerate aging, and lower temperatures can slow it down. Keep the bottles horizontally to keep the corks moist, preventing air from seeping in. Shield them from direct light to avoid UV damage. Store in a vibration-free environment, as vibrations can negatively impact the aging process. Lastly, maintain a consistent humidity level of around 60-70% to prevent cork drying and potential leakage. These measures ensure that collectible wines and whiskeys remain in optimal condition, ready to be enjoyed or appreciated for their investment value.

Whisky bottles, one of many surprising things that need climate-controlled storage
Finer drinks and spirits all benefit from a temperature-controlled environment.

Pay attention to things that need climate-controlled storage to preserve them!

These aren’t the only things that need climate-controlled storage. If you have any type of sensitive items, it’s important to learn how to properly store them to keep their value and integrity. Whether it’s preserving the structural integrity of vintage instruments, protecting the collector’s value of comic books and collectibles, or ensuring the longevity of vinyl records, these storage units offer the stability necessary to prevent the damaging effects of temperature fluctuations, humidity, and other environmental factors. From stamp collections to medical supplies, photographs to classic cars, and even collectible wine and whiskey, these units serve as guardians, preserving the quality, value, and usability of these surprising items for years to come. When it comes to safeguarding your cherished possessions, consider using the best Columbia Heights storage you can find. Give us a call and we will give you all the advice you need to ensure your possessions are intact. 

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