Self Storage Tips - How To Protect Metal Items From Winter Weather

If you want to start using a self storage unit to secure your belongings long term, then it is quite possible that your items will need to withstand at least one winter. This means extremely cold temperatures and a good deal of moisture. While the cold may not be your immediate concern, especially if you are packing and storing during the summer months, you should think about the way that winter may affect the space. This means preparing early and thinking ahead of time. If many of your belongings are made out or metal, then keep reading to find out why winter weather is a concern and also learn how you can protect your belongings.

Prevent Oxidation Issues

If you live within the United States, then your city will be exposed to at least one-half inch of precipitation each month during the winter. If you live in one of the southern states, then you are probably going to see five inches of precipitation or more. In the cold weather states, two or more inches are likely, and a good deal of the precipitation will be snow. While the snow may be frozen for a good part of the time, the humidity will rise, the snow will melt, and slush will be created with the assistance of salt, calcium chloride, or another snow melting material. All of this water and moisture can make it into your storage space, whether you track in the snow or holes on the side of the facility allow humid air to seep in.

While you may be worried about mold and mildew during the warmer months, this is not a concern due to the colder temperatures. However, you do need to be worried about oxidation and how moisture can cause nickel, brass, and silver to tarnish.

Polish Metal Pieces

Identify all of the metal hardware, furniture legs, silverware, or decorations that you want to store. Purchase a metal polishing compound at this time. A material called jeweler's rouge will work well for this. You can buy a polish that matches the metal you are trying to protect, but it is much more cost effective to buy a product that is considered all-purpose. The product you will need is usually called blue jeweler's rouge. You will also need a small revolving buffing wheel that you can add to your drill or your small handheld rotary tool. 

Place a small amount of the polishing compound on your buffing wheel and place your drill or hand-held tool on low speed. Place the moving wheel against the metal that you want to polish and buff until the metal is shiny. Not only will the compound remove scratches and other imperfections, but it will create a waterproof barrier over the top of it. 

Along with polishing, think about adding a small amount of either silicone or water-based penetrating oil to the screws and other moveable pieces of hardware that you see on furniture items. The hardware can oxidize as well, and it can stick in place when exposed to water.

Cover the Metal

If you are leaving your belongings in a storage unit for a long time without much attention, then think about covering the metal items as well. This will help to provide another barrier against moisture. Plastic materials work well for this, and you can use plastic wrap from your local grocery store to cover metal pieces. Use several layers of the material like you would if you were wrapping a piece of food for the refrigerator. Use shipping tape to secure the plastic wrap. You can also use rubber bands around dresser knobs and other types of items if you need to.