Not all objects can be put into storage without preparation. Humidity, leaks or even simple dust collection can cause corrosion on some components or create a heating problem that isn't easy to clean. Before putting computers, office equipment, or any electronics into storage, a few preparation considerations can keep your belongings in better condition for when you pick them up again.
What Could Go Wrong With Simple Storage
Consider a basic desktop computer. It has a few vents on the back of the computer and may have a few holes on the side for additional fan cooling. Some systems may have additional openings, but any of these openings can allow dust or small debris to enter.
Dust is a heating hazard, since it acts as an insulating blanket layer when it covers electronics. Modern computers have safety mechanisms that slow performance or shut the system down completely if heat reaches critical levels. Dust only brings operating temperatures closer to critical heat faster.
Another problem is moisture. The standard storage facility won't have loads of water dripping or splashing indoors (although you should look for any signs of leaks), but humidity can still be a slow problem with devastating results. Humid air isn't enough to cause a sparking shock when you take the system out of storage, but it's enough to cause corrosion on some of the internal metals if left in humidity long enough.
Combating Dust And Humidity Risks
Before buying any preparation products yourself, make sure to review what your storage facility has to offer. If you're working with an indoor storage facility, find out if the facility has air filters for each unit or if there's central air/distributed sectional air conditioning.
Even though it's not your job to check and change filters, perform due diligence by quizzing staff on cleanliness of air conditioning systems and filtration systems, then ask to see the filters yourself. It'll either give you a comforting answer about their regular maintenance routines or let the staff know that they're now dealing with a customer who has higher expectations. You can take your business elsewhere if cleanliness isn't up to standards, or push for reform with a few polite complaints.
Humidity is a little harder to handle. Although air conditioning can lower humidity on a sunny day, air conditioning on a rainy day may bring moisture into the facilities. Due to the nature of stored goods, an indoor self storage facility may have dehumidifiers or a dehumidifying central air unit that handles the entire climate. If not, you'll need your own dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers can only handle spaces that are at or under their maximum rating. The rating for each dehumidifier is measured in the size of the room, and usually in cubic feet in the US. If you're unsure of the dimensions needed, get the storage unit size from the storage facility and contact a dehumidifier manufacturer to get a suggestion for your specific situation.
Contact a self storage facility professional to discuss available units and cleanliness plans to keep electronics and other sensitive materials safe.