Treasures To Tools: 3 Ways To Safely Preserve Metals In Your Self-Storage Building

Whether you're a treasure collector or you simply treasure the tools of your trade or hobby, there are several ways to maintain your stored metal items without risk of corrosion or other damage.

Here are 3 ideal ways to keep your metal objects in top condition in your storage building:

Clean metal as much as possible before storage.

For precious objects, wear white gloves when handling and cleaning, and only wipe items with non-abrasive solutions, cloths, and brushes. Too vigorously scrubbing metal artifacts of any kind can damage them, so just keep them clean of dusts and oils before storing to reduce degradation of surfaces.

Garden tools should be cleaned of debris, paying special attention to caked-on mud, corrosion, or dampness in telescoping pruner parts. The working parts of scissors and shears often get jammed with dirt, so use a toothpick or small wire to clear small places.

Steel wool scrubbers or wire brushes may be necessary for heavy duty metals used in shovels, post-hole diggers, and saws. Small knives can usually be cleaned with a damp cloth. Allow all tools to dry and finish the metal by wiping on a light coat of oil as recommended here.

Store your metal objects on the right surfaces.

Treasures and tools alike are best stored on metal rather than wood shelves. Your self storage provider may have shelves you can rent, or you can find metal shelves at home improvement stores.

These shelves should be padded for fragile, non-boxed items; use cotton or special cloths made to store silver or other metal materials. All items should be covered with sheeting of some sort to protect them from dust and moisture.

Garden tools are normally fine left uncovered since a light coating of oil repels dust. Pitchforks and shovels will be less likely to draw moisture if kept hanging above a damp floor. A pegboard or grid with hooks hanging against one wall is a great place to store tools of various sizes in your storage unit.

Machinery like compressors, power tools, and welding equipment should have batteries removed; be thoroughly cleaned; drained of any fluids that can't take the storage unit temperatures; and covered with a dust cloth.

Remember that reducing humidity is important.

If your self-storage unit is climate-controlled, you may not have an issue with high relative humidity (RH). If your unit does not have air conditioning or heat piped in, your metal items are more prone to rust and other moisture-activated corrosion problems because of RH, unless you live in a highly arid climate.

If your storage building is located on your own property, you can power a dehumidifier with an extension cord or solar energy source. If you're renting a unit, ask about the possibility of using a dehumidifier. Also investigate products designed to remove moisture without using a power source. There are boxes and tubs of products available that help draw off moisture, but they should be changed out often and should not be relied upon if you live in an extremely damp environment.

It may cost a bit more to prepare metal items for storage, and to cool and heat a storage building, but all of your metal objects will retain their value far longer when managed properly. For more information, contact companies like Colfax West Self Storage.