Whether you've run out of space in your garage or you're a self-employed handyman who wants to keep home and work separate, using a storage facility to stash your power tools is a great solution to your problem. You have to take care when putting electric-powered items in long-term storage; otherwise, they may be damaged by environmental conditions, costing you time and money. Here are three tips for keeping your power tools in tip-top shape while in they're in storage.
Use Closed-Door Shelving
Just as the sun is guaranteed to rise every morning (at least for another 10 billion years), anything you place in storage will gather dust. This has nothing to do with the cleanliness of the facility and everything to do with the fact that dust is everywhere and will settle on everything in its path. Since dust is basically a gathering of minuscule particulates, it can easily enter holes, crevices, and other tiny spaces in your power tools and clog motors or contaminate lubricants.
Thus, it's best to store your power tools in boxes, safe from the dust. For items that don't have packaging, organize them in shelving with doors that can be closed. This will prevent dust from accumulating on the items as well as provide you with quick access to the tools you need when you require them.
Set Storage Solutions on Pallets
Water is the enemy of electrical devices. Although most storage facilities are well maintained, you never know when disaster may strike and cause your storage unit to be flooded with water from excessive rain or a broken pipe. Power tools can cost thousands of dollars to replace, so unless you have money to burn, protecting your stash from a possible water invasion is paramount.
The easiest thing you can do is place all boxes, cabinets, shelving, etc. off the floor and on pallets. Thus, if the storage unit is flooded, it will only affect the pallets. Since a standard pallet is only 6.5 inches tall, you may want to double stack them to maximize protection, especially if you live in an area where flood waters get pretty high.
Additionally, you may want to drape a tarp or plastic garbage bags over your items to protect from possible leaks in the ceiling.
Control for Temperature
Extreme temperature can have an adverse effect on your power tool, especially if those temperatures fluctuate rapidly and repeatedly between one extreme to the other as this can cause harmful condensation to form. Areas that are too hot may melt wiring, while ones that are too cold may freeze lubricants. It's particularly important to store your power tools in a temperature-controlled setting if any of them use batteries, since temperatures outside the acceptable range can shorten the battery's life span.
The best temperature range for storing electrical tools is anywhere between 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and humidity should be no higher than 80 percent. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to keep a standard storage unit at these specifications, so you should shell out a little more and get an environment-controlled unit which aims to keep the space at a set temperature and humidity levels safe for most belongings.
A last piece of advice is to make sure your storage unit is covered by insurance. Most homeowner's policies will cover stuff placed in a storage unit. If you don't have homeowner's insurance or you rent your residence, then opt for the insurance provided by the facility. Some insurance is better than nothing, but be sure you fully understand the type of protection you're receiving to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
For more tips on storing power tools or to rent a unit, contact a local storage facility.