People rent storage units for many reasons – to store their items while moving, traveling, renovating, etc. But, at the end of the day, all storage units have the same purpose – to keep the stored items safe and secure. However, things do not always work out as planned. Sometimes, a disaster happens. And then, either the storage unit gets damaged, or your items (or both). So, when an event of this kind occurs, what do you do? Unfortunately, once the disaster happens, there is not much you can do. Luckily, you can do things before the damage that can save you your time, energy, and money later on! Thus, if this is something you are interested in, follow these tips, and you will know what to do if your storage unit gets damaged.
What Can Happen to Your Storage and Your Belongings?
Whether you decide to rent a portable storage unit or one located in a storage facility, it is essential to understand that many things can happen to your belongings while they are there. It may be the renter’s fault, your fault, or nobody’s fault. For instance, if your items get damaged by pests like rats, mice, insects, raccoons, etc., or if they get stolen by thieves, then it will be the renter’s fault. They will have to compensate for the damage. But, if you leave your items damp, rusty, and improperly packed and stacked, the responsibility will be all yours, and nobody will have to compensate for the damage. The third thing that can happen is a natural disaster of some kind (tornado, flood, fire, etc.), and if this happens, the only way you can get compensated is if you have good insurance.
Of course, when you rent a storage unit, you get renter’s insurance. However, it is crucial to understand that this insurance does not cover all the damages. For instance, it covers damages caused by fire, pests, and theft or vandalism. However, it does not cover damages caused by flooding or other natural disasters. Thus, do yourself a favor, and get full insurance. Yes, this will cost you extra, but you will be sure that you will get a full refund if anything happens to your stored items.
In today’s day and age, always have insurance for everything – your health, car, home, and belongings. Imagine you have to move on short notice. Even when you have a short deadline for your relocation and have to move and store your items in a hurry, find some extra time to get insured. If you think that nothing can happen in that short period, make no mistake – it can. So, do not forget that insurance is something that can save you and your belongings.
Never Leave Your Valuables in Storage
When you think about putting items in a storage unit, you are probably focused on those things that can’t be stored, like plants, chemicals, certain electronics, etc. However, there are some other things that you shouldn’t store either – your precious valuables. Those can be your family heirlooms, antiques, or anything too valuable and irreplaceable. Of course, you can insure those items, and if something happens to them, you will be compensated for the damage. But, you will never get them back – you can, of course, replace them with that money, but that is never the same. Thus, if you have some items that you feel too emotionally attached to, better keep them by your side. Remember – you can replace material things, but not memories!
Read Your Rental Contract
A lesson we often learn the hard way is to read contracts. All of us have made this mistake before – we sign the contract, and then we forget about it. But, there is always something written at the end of the agreement (usually in fine print). That something tells us about our rights and obligations. If you do not read the contract carefully, you might get into trouble. When it comes to renting a storage unit for your belongings, do not just blindly sign the rental agreement. Read everything! Pay special attention to the previously mentioned renter’s insurance and what it covers – maybe it does not cover anything you plan on storing! In that case, you will have to get supplementary insurance, if of course, you want to know what to do if your storage unit gets damaged.
Know-How to Protect Your Belongings
Last but certainly not, the last thing you should do to ensure the safety of your stored items is to know precisely how to pack and stack them. Believe it or not, but adequately packed items can stay in one piece even if the storage unit becomes infested with pests or even if a natural disaster occurs. Do some research and try to find the best way to pack the items you plan on storing. The internet is full of solutions! Moreover, do not cut corners on the packing materials – bad ones can cause you more harm than good! If you have difficulties deciding what packing materials to buy and how to pack your items properly, consider hiring professional movers. They offer all kinds of packing services.
Stacking your belongings properly is also of crucial importance. We strongly advise you to get some of those pallets and pile everything on them – this will be a lifesaver in case of a flood, for example. And, of course, do not forget the golden rule: heavy items always go on the bottom, no matter how big or small they are.
So, as you can see, there is very little you can do if your storage unit gets damaged. It all boils down to what you did before you stored your belongings. Basically, the only thing you can do is salvage whatever you can and ring your insurance company to file a claim. If you are eligible, that is.