How Calgary’s winter weather can put your belongings at risk
Winter is still in full swing, so it wouldn’t be surprising if today’s goal is to hide in a blanket in front of the TV. If you think you’re cold or uncomfortable, imagine what your stuff in your basement, garage, attic, shed, or closet is going through.
Many items are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. From minus 40 degrees weather to hail storms and Chinooks, Calgary’s winters come with constant fluctuations and unpredictability.
Cold weather tends to have some not-so-nice effects on your belongings. It can:
- Warp or crack wood like furniture and musical instruments
- Kill batteries
- Cause liquids to freeze
- Crack breakables like porcelain and glass
- Shatter cosmetics
Don’t store anything that’s already leaking, and drain any items that contain water (like appliances) before leaving them in a cold storage space such as your garage.
Humidity can have some equally negative effects on your possessions. Condensation on plastics and electronic components can turn into cracks or leaks during a free-thaw cycle. Excess moisture can:
- Cause tape to lift, peel and tear
- Destroy electronics
- Induce mold or mildew growth
- Damage paper products like books and records
- Ruin clothing
- Make cardboard boxes soggy
How to transport your items safely to your off-site storage locker
In Calgary’s cold, snowy winters, leaving the house might not seem appealing. But if you don’t trust your home storage–or you don’t have space for everything–an off-site, climate-controlled locker is your best bet. And you may not even need to access it until spring.
But if you do, snow, rain and ice shouldn’t get in your way. Keep salt at home to make sure you can always get out of the driveway. Wear proper shoes with good grip and cover your belongings in plastic so they don’t get wet when loading and unloading at either end.
Pro tip: Maple Leaf has sheltered loading docks to help you out.
When you’re loading your vehicle at home–especially if you don’t have a garage–keep boxes covered for the journey (we recommend plastic bins). Before you move big pieces like furniture, mirrors or appliances, protect them with thick blankets, bubble wrap, or insulated bags to avoid sudden temperature changes between the house and the storage facility. Waterproof with plastic wrap if you need to.
Keep loading time short so your items aren’t cold for too long. The closer your storage locker is to home, the better. And you don’t want to store certain items in a locker that’s too cold. That’s why all of our units are climate-controlled (which moderates both temperature and moisture).
Choose a unit before the spring rush–you don’t need to go out into the cold just yet!