Protect Your Antique or Classic Car in Self Storage

As a devoted collector of antique or classic cars, you’ve dedicated a lot of time and money to your hobby. Either you’ve saved and searched for the perfect car or you’ve been lucky enough to be able to pay cash for a high-quality model.

Whether you consider your car a hobby, an investment, or both, it’s your passion. You’ve painstakingly restored it, drive it rarely, and keep it safely stored away for long periods of time.

The right long-term or winter storage for your car is critical because you want it to appreciate in value and maintain its vintage appeal. Additionally, you need to consider that the way you store your vehicle can affect your insurance rates and your ability to be insured. Universal Storage Group has locations that are perfect for protecting your treasured vehicle.

Locate the Right Self Storage Facility for Your Classic or Antique Car

Storage units that have been designed for vehicles are typically “drive-up.” This means that you drive your vehicle directly up to the unit, pull inside, and close and lock the door when you leave. Your car will be protected from sun damage, wind, and precipitation. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast – there’s more to it if you want to keep your car in mint condition.

  • Climate Control: You don’t want temperature fluctuations and humidity to affect the paint, upholstery, tires, engine, and more. Climate-controlled storage keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55° and 85° F and maintains a humidity level of 55%. As a comparison, the average air-conditioned home stays between 35%-45% humidity. Think of climate control as an air-conditioner, humidifier, and dehumidifier combination to sustain the proper temperature and humidity levels for your vehicle. When you find the ideal self storage unit for your car, cover the floor with a sheet of plastic. This will serve as a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from reaching the underside of the car.
  • Security: Technology has come a long way in enhancing self storage security. Many facilities are offering keyless entry that allows easy access to your self storage facility and your unit from a mobile device. Look for access gates equipped with electronic keypads, as well as twenty-four-hour video surveillance. If there is a rare security breach, it will be easier to identify and apprehend the intruder. On-site and resident managers add another layer of security; a physical presence can deter potential illicit activity. 
  • Insurance: Prior to storing your car, it must be insured. Talk with your insurance agent, and get the specifics on collectible car insurance. There are options available, and you want to make sure that you have the right insurance to suit your unique vehicle. If collectible vehicles are restored and well maintained, they will typically increase in value. Keep in mind that laws differ from state to state. If you store an uninsured vehicle, you may be subject to a citation or suspension of your license.

Prep Your Classic Car for Long-Term or Winter Storage

Because these are vintage vehicles, they require extra protection and maintenance to preserve their condition and avoid corrosion. Here are some tips to keep your car looking as pristine when it is retrieved as it did when it was stored.

  • Wash and Wax the Car

Wash the car thoroughly and apply a coat of protective wax. Dust and dirt can cause long-term damage. Lubricate door and hood hinges so that they don’t jam. If you happen to own a convertible, store it with the top up to prevent shrinking.

  • Clean the Interior

Be sure there are no crumbs or food scraps left on the seats unless you want to attract rodents and insects. Vacuum your car carefully, cleaning all surface areas with a microfiber towel, and shaking out the floor mats. To preserve vinyl, plastic, and leather surfaces, wipe them with a conditioner. Finally, leave a box of baking soda inside to absorb odors.

  • Check the Tires

Use warm, soapy water to clean your car’s tires, and let them dry completely. If your tires are left dirty for a lengthy period, they can crack and rot. Check your tire pressure and fill all the tires to the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI).

  • Change the Oil

The contaminants and residue in oil that is left for long periods can be especially detrimental to classic and antique cars that have their original engines. Change the oil, and go for a short drive to allow the oil to circulate. This helps to prevent corrosion. Additionally, this is a good time to think about changing the oil filter.

  • Fill the Tank

The ethanol in gas attracts moisture, increasing the risk of rust and corrosion. Drive your classic car until the tank is nearly empty, then fill it completely. Consider adding a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from hardening.  If you’re storing for the winter, top off the coolant to ensure the engine doesn’t freeze.

  • Cover or Stuff the Tailpipe

Small animals enjoy making nests in tailpipes. Let them know there is no vacancy by covering your tailpipe or stuffing it with steel wool. Remind yourself to remove it when you take your car out of storage by leaving a post-it note on the steering wheel. 

  • Disconnect or Remove the Battery

If you’re storing your car for the long term, consider removing the battery. Battery acid leaks can potentially cause massive damage to car engines. This can be catastrophic to an older car. If the battery terminals are left connected, the car will continue to use energy, depleting the battery. At the very least, disconnect the battery and hook it up to a battery tender

  • Protect With a High-Quality Cover

Regardless of where you’re storing your vehicle, you need a quality custom cover. The lining of the cover should be soft so that your car’s surface remains damage-free. The cover should be made from a breathable fabric that won’t trap moisture and create condensation that can damage the paint. 

Wrap Up

To protect your vehicle from deterioration, damage, and the elements during long-term or winter storage, you first need to locate a convenient, safe, and secure self storage facility. After you’ve settled on the right facility for your car, you need to prep your car for a lengthy stay in storage. The suggestions in this article should start you moving in the right direction to keep your investment in top condition

Self Storage Keeps Renovation from Becoming Relocation

You’ve chosen the cabinets, selected the flooring, and found the perfect backsplash for your kitchen renovation. On top of that, you’ve decided to expand your project by adding a powder room update along with new windows and doors for the entire house. Why not? You’ll get a houseful of remodeling projects over within about six to eight weeks. Right?

Hmmm…do you have any idea what you’re facing? Without going into detail, you can most assuredly assume that you should be thinking in terms of months – not weeks. Renovation is no day at the beach – unless you’re thinking of Omaha Beach.

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Deciding whether to stay put or temporarily relocate during a difficult renovation can be a weighty decision. Should you decide to move out during the renovation, you’ll avoid the dust, drilling, noise, and strangers all over your house. The downside is the inconvenience and expense, coupled with considerable disruption, especially if you’re dealing with kids and pets.

The option of staying in your home during this project does come with one huge advantage. You can monitor the progress of the work and be sure that everything is done according to the contract. Of course, this means you will be dealing with some inconveniences along the way. 

There is, however, an almost perfect solution. You can stay in your home and alleviate the mess by using safe, affordable self storage. You can protect your belongings from damage and dust, and protect yourself from insanity. Self storage is your renovation solution.

How Self Storage Controls the Renovation Mess

Items that are taking up precious space in the construction zone, as well as items that you want to keep safe, should be moved to self storage. Even the most conscientious work crew is going to create dust and cause an occasional accident.

Protect Your Belongings From Damage and Dust

During a remodeling project dust is created and accidents happen. Dust will not only coat your valuable furniture, draperies, and appliances but can cause irreversible damage to electronics. Yes, you can cover everything with tarps and old sheets to avoid the dust, but other mishaps may occur. Crowded rooms are an accident waiting to happen. Lamps and collectible items are easily broken or damaged. You could find some spare space for all of these things, but then they’re in the way and vulnerable to harm. Self storage gives you the option of keeping your items safe as well as out of the way.

Reduce Clutter

As mentioned earlier, you can move your belongings from the renovation area to another part of your home, but this will create even more disorder. Unless, of course, you don’t mind using your large appliances to create an obstacle course for your kids. You’ll enjoy making memories for months while you watch them climb all over the refrigerator and take turns pushing each other into the dryer and holding the door shut. I know you can’t wait.

Free Up Space for the Workers to Store Materials

In case you didn’t know, your house will be overrun with construction materials and equipment. The more room you can free up for the crew, the less time the renovation will take. Instead of 17 months, they might be finished in a year. Try to give them an empty room for their supplies. It can only help.

Expect the Unexpected

Plans change. Projects that were supposed to take 3 months may take 6, 9, or even 24 months (just kidding). Self storage can offer you what you need to make these surprises work: month-to-month leasing. You never have to worry about a long-term commitment, and you can always increase or reduce the size of your unit. Our professional staff is always ready to help with a creative solution.

Storage Tips

Since you’re using self storage for a short time, you don’t have to be as detailed as a long-term tenant, but you should try to be organized. Here are a few tips to help you keep it manageable.

Cover the Floor  

Before storing your boxes, place pallets on the floor. This will prevent pests and insects from gathering under your boxes.

Organize for Easy Access

Create a general plan of how you’re going to organize furniture and boxes in your unit. Put some thought into how you’ll place these items. Ideally, furniture and large appliances should be against a wall opposite the boxes. Leave space in the middle of the unit for easy access. Boxes that you’ll need to access frequently should be stored last.

Place Small Boxes/Items on Shelves

Shelves are a great option for smaller boxes and items that you may not be packing like lamps and small electrical appliances. If you place the shelves toward the front of your unit, you can easily grab things that you may need regularly.

Use Climate-Controlled Self Storage

You’ll want your belongings in a dry, dust-free environment, so look for a facility that offers climate-controlled storage. This type of storage maintains a consistent temperature throughout the seasons and will protect your temperature-sensitive items from damage or deterioration.

Look for Security

Most facilities are equipped with security systems that deter crime and protect your possessions. Look for a facility in a safe, convenient location, that is well-lit, well maintained, and features electronic gates and video surveillance. You can discuss this with the facility manager.

Conclusion

Remodeling is exciting as well as full of headaches. Give yourself one less thing to worry about by storing your possessions in a secure, affordable, convenient location. You’ll be able to live in your home, keep an eye on your project, and walk through rooms without having to maneuver through an obstacle course.