Picking out a storage unit can be simple if you just need to store a few trash bags of old clothes, but when your belongings really matter, you'll need some decent options if you want everything back in good shape. From leaks and weather condition problems to security, here are a few inspection areas to keep in mind as you choose a self storage facility.

Don't Let In Leaks

If water can get in, so can other weather problems and pests. A few gaps in the walls or door seal can introduce a perilous amount of dangers, but you can find these problems with a few careful techniques.

First, don't just assume that a good eye can find everything. Not all cracks are visible to the naked eye, and some are even hidden between areas that even a magnifying glass can't find. Turn off the lights and close the door--preferably with a friend on the outside who can get help if the door gets stuck--and look for any light from the outside. If light comes from more areas than just the door, the room needs sealing.

The door isn't completely off the hook if light is leaking. If these gaps are more than about half an inch or uneven, the door needs to be replaced and weather strips should be installed. The gaps don't need to be completely devoid of light, but an excuse to add a new door and weather strips should be at the top of your list if you really like that specific facility.

Security Features And Frauds

Cameras are important, but they can be a deceptive cover. Some storage facilities that have changed ownership or simply fallen out of maintenance practices may have cameras in place—or a bubble that looks like it should house a camera—but may not be actually recording or without working cameras.

Ask to see surveillance of your last visit or current visit, and compare the past few days to make sure that the facility isn't serving up old stock footage. You'll want to make sure that you and law enforcement can easily get evidence of theft if asked, so try to get a copy on a disc (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray) or on a small storage drive.

If you want more physical security, go for indoor facilities with cameras that can slow down and isolate would-be thieves. A step up would be security guards, and you'll want to know if the guards are 24/7 or only at certain parts of the day or night. Don't be alarmed if they don't share specific shift information; a thief can use that to plan a good theft.

Contact a self storage facility for self storage units with everything you need and to discuss any services that you'd like to have added if possible.