Living in Canada, we all know winter is inevitable. Maybe you’re escaping the cold and travelling somewhere warm till the snow melts or perhaps you’re making room for the winter jackets in your closets and the snow plow in the garage. Either way, here are some tips to help you prepare your items for hibernation.
1. Store Before The Snow Arrives
The best way to move your items into storage is without a foot of snow on top of them. Take pre-emptive action and get your items into your storage unit at the end of fall before the weather gets bad and makes the transportation more difficult. Self-storage companies offer flexible contracts so you can start your winter storage when it is most convenient to you. You may want to store your outdoor based items, such as patio furniture, lawn mower, gas grill, bicycles or boats.
2. Keep All Items Dry and Clean
It is important to make sure you clean and dry off all your items before putting them in storage. Water can cause damage to your items when stored for a long period of time, especially in colder months. If you’re storing hoses, this is a perfect example- the water could potentially freeze and expand, not only damaging the hose itself but the items stored around and near it. When it comes to packaging your smaller items, make sure to use breathable materials such as cotton or wool to make sure moisture and water don’t get trapped within. Avoid materials like polythene, a commonly used plastic for packaging. A great idea to help control the moisture in the air during storage is to look into a climate controlled storage unit.
3. Make Repairs Now, Not After
You may want to put your valuables in storage and deal with them in the spring. But when the spring comes around, you’ll wish you had done them earlier so you can take them out of storage and start using them right away. Any potential damage going into storage could worsen over time so make sure you take necessary care of them so they withstand the winter. If you’re putting your car in storage over the winter, this becomes even more true. There are many steps to consider before putting your car away for the season.
Wash your car– water and bird droppings can permanently damage the paint of your car if left too long. Take another step and wax the car as well to seal the car going into storage.
Car covers– if you’re storing more than just your car in your unit, you may want to consider putting a cover over your car for added protection from any scratches that could occur.
Oil change– with winters lasting more than just a couple of months, it is a good idea to get your oil changed to avoid contaminants in the engine oil that could cause damage or build up over time.
Fill up– put your car in storage with a full tank of gas to avoid moisture buildup in the tank. For longer periods of time like the winter, you can invest in a fuel stabilizer to prevent ethanol buildup and protect the engine from varnish and rust caused by deteriorating gas. The stabilizer can prevent this from happening for up to 12 months.
Take off your tires– if you leave your vehicle stationary for too long, the tires can develop flat spots. These flat spots can potentially become permanent, ruining your tires for when you want to take the car back out. The best way to prevent this is to take the tires off and store the car on stack stands. Though this is a bit more work for you, it is well worth it if it saves you the cost of four new tires.
Follow these tips and always be prepared for the ever-changing seasons. Have your valuables ready for winter and guarantee they are ready for use in the spring.