The self-storage industry has become very profitable over the past decade. With an annual industry income of $39 billion, it’s no surprise that approximately 9 percent of American families are using a self-storage facility at any time, considering most self-storage units run at a 92% occupancy rate. As far as other real estate investments, self-storage is at the lower end of the maintenance spectrum. That doesn’t mean it can be neglected, however. Units still need to be taken care of to have a sustainable business.
Perhaps the most essential component of a unit is the door. Not only because it keeps peoples’ belongings safe from outsiders and the elements, but also because it gives people the first impression of your business as a whole. Much like the effects of curb appeal on real estate, proper care and maintenance should be at the top of the list of priorities. The times to check the roll-up doors include each time a tenant moves out, just before a new tenant moves in, and regular intervals between in case of vacancies. Having a checklist of maintenance items is an excellent way to keep yourself organized.
The first thing to check is the door hardware itself. This includes tightening all nuts, bolts, and brackets. Even if a door doesn’t appear broken, it still needs to be inspected regularly because of regular wear and tear from tenants and the weather’s effects. Check the tensioning brackets and make any necessary adjustments to the door springs. Spray the springs with white lithium grease once a year to keep the coils from seizing up or getting rusty. If you encounter a broken part, do not try to fix it yourself unless you are a professional.
For security purposes, the interior of the door will have material covering the latch nuts and bolts. If this felt is missing, ensure the latch and all its components are secure to avoid a potential break-in. Another security feature to examine is the weather sealing along with the bottom door. Over time, the bulb astragal can dry out and begin to rot.
Doors and units also become exponentially more appealing when they are clean. Sweep out the interior of the storage unit and wash away any stains or odors. A good tip is to include the backside of the door when you sweep.