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SELF-STORAGE Winter Safety & Winterization

Updated: Jan 23

By Drew Case

Storage Authority Franchise

Winter is already upon us. Winterize and manage cold conditions safely and affordably. You always want to prepare ahead of time or be ready for the next time. It's never good to learn the hard way when it comes to dealing with ice and snow. Being unprepared can be costly in various ways, so plan ahead.

Here are FOUR TIPS on dealing with ice, snow and freezing temps.

Have an insured plow vendor set up maintain the lot for the season. Depending where you are in the country, this would be done by contract for the season or pay each time the lot is done. Agree on what depth of snow you want the lot to be plowed. Approximately, 2"-3" of snow is a reasonable time to plow. Be sure to review details on how you want the lot plowed and where you want excess snow to be piled. Ensure the plow person angles the plow away from unit doors to avoid blocking unit access. When plowing parking spots, be sure the snow is pulled away from any parking blocks and then plowed parallel along and away from the parking area. Some inexperienced people do just the opposite and pile the snow in front of the parking blocks, which causes melting and refreezing for weeks afterwards. Excessive snow may need to be removed using a wheel loader (ex: Bobcat).

Have the proper tools and supplies on hand to deal with the general maintenance. Have two shovels on hand. One to use until it breaks and then you have the other!! You will also want a lawn spreader with a healthy supply of salt/ice melt and play sand to add to the mix. Purchasing salt by the pallet is far less expensive and you will be less likely to run out. Add the mix to the lawn spreader to better treat walkways, high traffic areas and patches of ice. Keep your walkways as clean as possible. A slip & fall on your property could be very costly, no matter an employee or a customer, so do all you can to avoid that situation. A snowblower is a great addition also. An electric one can work great because it starts every time, but not as good for large snowfall. The gas snowblower will work great, if your employee can get it started. Get your snowblower tuned before the season and have some fresh gas in the system.

Heating cables are a great tool for roof edges, drain pipes or downspouts. Ice can back up in the downspouts and cause splitting. Additionally, when the melting begins, the water will overflow down the pipe if the drain portion is not yet thawed. I have also seen interior roof drains split and spill water on the interior of a building. This can flood an entire floor. Review areas where you may have active drains or water lines that need to be kept from freezing.

Watch for ice dams on the roof, but also the ground. Melting snow l soon be a waterflow and can back up behind ice and backflow into a unit or under a roof. Have a wet/dry vac on hand in case water backs up inside a hallway or if you need a customer to come down to open a unit that was at risk. You may need to carve a channel on the ground for the water to flow away from the units to prevent the back up. Backed up up on the roof can cause damage and should be cleared if possible.

You will need to decide your budget and determine how much you want your staffing to participate in winter maintenance. I suggest the simple tasks be handled by the staffing, but the more demanding tasks be handled by outside vendors. The more time staff battles the weather, the less time the staff will spend on customer service. You still need to effectively help customers during those challenging times. Plan ahead and most of all..... be safe!

Storage Authority's guidance in self-storage development underscores the intricate balance between meeting storage demands and environmental sustainability. By aligning with Storage Authority's principles and leveraging our team's expertise, along with your engineer, architect, and general contractor we can navigate the complexities of impervious coverage with confidence, ensuring the creation of self-storage facilities that are both economically viable and environmentally responsible.

Storage Authority Franchising is all about owning your own local self-storage business, supported by professional systems and expertise. We like to say, "You're in business for yourself but not by yourself." If self-storage is on your mind, don't hesitate to reach out to Drew Case at Direct: 513-582-0125 or to learn more about the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity. Your self-storage journey awaits!

If you would like to learn more and start your journey to self-storage ownership click the link here:


Your success story begins with Storage Authority!



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