Risks When Using Self-Storage In The Winter - Surewise

Risks When Using Self-Storage In The Winter

With the arrival of colder weather, it’s time to start thinking about how to protect your items if using in self-storage over the winter. Sadly, with the cold comes a number of heightened risks and potential hazards to your items – including damp, mould, and the risk of flooding.

In this guide, we’ve covered a few major risks to be aware of, and what you can do to keep your belongings safe and secure while in self-storage this winter.

Are There More Risks Using Self-Storage in Winter?

Winter presents unique challenges for self-storage users. The freezing temperatures, snow, and rain can negatively affect both the storage unit and the items stored within.

It is crucial to be aware of these risks and take the necessary precautions to mitigate potential damage.

While the summer months definitely have their own risks to be aware of (such as an increased risk of fire, for example), winter certainly brings a whole new set of things you’ll need to watch out for.

Risks To Be Aware Of

Here, we’ve covered some of the major risks to be aware of over the colder month. Remember, staying informed is one of the first steps to ensuring you don’t have an unpleasant discovery in a few months time by not protecting your items properly!


  • Snow and ice melt can lead to flooding, especially in outdoor or non-climate-controlled units.
  • Items stored on the floor or in low-lying areas are at greater risk.
  • Floodwater can cause severe damage to electronics, furniture, and other valuables.

Mould and Mildew

  • With temperature fluctuations, condensation can form inside units, providing the perfect environment for mould and mildew to thrive.
  • Materials such as fabric, wood, and paper are particularly susceptible to moisture damage.


  • Rodents and other pests seek shelter from the cold, often finding refuge in storage units.
  • They can chew through boxes, ruin upholstery, and contaminate your belongings.

How To Keep Your Belongings Safe in Self-Storage Over Winter

Clothes & Soft Furnishings

When it comes to storing clothes and soft furnishings over the winter, taking steps to protect these items from moisture and pests is crucial. One effective way to accomplish this is by placing them in vacuum-sealed bags.

These bags not only save space but also provide a solid barrier against moisture, mold, and mildew. They can also deter pests like insects and rodents, keeping your belongings safe and intact.

Additionally, it’s wise to elevate these items off the floor to prevent any water damage from potential flooding. Placing them on shelving or storing them in airtight containers can provide that extra level of protection. This way, in case any water does make its way into your storage unit, your clothes and soft furnishings remain dry and undamaged.


Storing furniture, especially large pieces, can often feel like a game of Tetris – you have to know the right way to pack your belongings!

To make this task easier and to reduce the likelihood of damage, it’s advisable to disassemble furniture into smaller pieces. This will not only save space but also make the items easier to move and store. Taking off the legs of tables and disassembling bed frames can go a long way in preserving the integrity of your furniture.

Furthermore, covering your furniture with protective sheets or plastic wrap can keep dust, moisture, and pests at bay. This extra layer of protection can be the difference between maintaining the pristine condition of your furniture and discovering unsightly mold or pest damage come spring.


Important documents are often sensitive to temperature and moisture. Over the winter months, it’s prudent to store them in waterproof containers or safes to prevent any water damage. This will ensure that your documents remain dry and readable, protecting valuable information.

A supplementary measure to consider is the use of silica gel packets. These packets can be placed alongside your documents to absorb any excess moisture that may accumulate within the storage container.

By keeping the environment dry, you’re adding an extra level of protection to your important paperwork.


Antiques are often delicate and require a higher level of care when being stored. Wrapping them in protective material and placing them in well-padded boxes can help absorb any shocks and keep them safe from scratches or other damage.

It’s crucial to ensure that these valuable items are well-protected from the harsh winter conditions.

For those with a collection of valuable antiques, investing in a climate-controlled storage unit might be a wise decision. These units maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, providing an ideal environment for sensitive items.

While the cost may be higher compared to standard units, the peace of mind knowing your precious antiques are safe from winter’s harsh elements could be well worth the investment.

Other Household Items

  • Use sturdy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids for general storage.
  • Label boxes clearly and keep an inventory to ensure nothing gets misplaced.

Self-Storage Insurance: A Year Round Essential

Securing a comprehensive storage insurance policy for your stored belongings is a wise decision year-round. It provides an extra layer of protection against unforeseen circumstances, such as theft, fire, or weather-related damage.

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to safeguarding your precious possessions against the unpredictable winter weather.

Find out more about storage insurance and get a custom quote for your needs today.

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