Ever see one of those large storage containers, which can often resemble a shrunken down version of a semi tractor-trailer, sitting in a neighbor’s driveway or next to a business?
Well, those are portable storage units and they can be an excellent way to store belongings after a house fire.
Maybe you need to remove undamaged items from a severely damaged structure … or maybe you need to store items while having repair work done … or maybe you have decided to move from your fire-damaged house to a new house … in any of these situations a portable storage unit can be an excellent solution as they are well-known for being both convenient and affordable.
Here’s How Portable Storage Units Work:
The portable storage unit is brought to your location where you can then fill it with your belongings.
If you are having repair work done to your fire-damaged house and you just need the belongings out of the way temporarily, the portable storage unit will stay at your location and you can keep your items in it until the work is done.
If you are moving, you’ll load the portable storage unit and the company that you obtained the unit from will come and pick it up and transport it to your new location.
Why Use a Portable Storage Unit?
Portable storage units offer a number benefits including:
- Convenience – Instead of driving your belongings to a self-storage unit, a portable storage unit is brought right to you so that you can load it right on site.
- Security – Portable storage units from top companies are made of steel and have features such as tamper-proof lockboxes.
- Versatility – Portable storage units can be used for either short-term or long-term storage and since the items are stored right on site you can easily access them or take you time in determining where you want to put them.
- Variety of sizes – There are a variety of sizes of portable storage units so you don’t have to have a large, bulky container on your property if a smaller size will suffice.
- Weather proof – Portable storage units are made to protect your belongings from wind, rain, snow and other harsh weather conditions.
- Cost-effective – When compared to other storage options, portable storage units are surprisingly cost effective.
- Stress Reliever – Having the container brought to your location, where you can load it on your schedule and then having the container taken to your new location can greatly reduce the stress and hassles that come with moving.
How Do Portable Storage Units Compare Against Self Storage Units?
We discussed self-storage units in our previous blog post, but we’ll again address some of their benefits here.
While both portable storage units and self storage units offer a number of the same benefits such as security and protection from the weather, there are two big differences between the two that need to be highlighted:
- Portable storage units are brought to you where they can be loaded on site. This eliminates the hassles of battling traffic and the weather to transport your belongings to a physical location. In other words, they can be a great time saver.
- On the other hand, many self storage units are climate controlled which provides even greater protection for your valuables. Extreme temperatures can damage items kept in a portable storage unit. For example, wood expands and contracts in hot and cold temperatures which can result in cracking, splintering, weakening and more. Climate controlled self storage units can prevent this damage from occurring.
One other thing you might want to consider regarding portable storage units – if you live in a community with a homeowners association, are you allowed under the covenants to keep a portable storage unit on your property and, if so, is there a set length of time that it can remain on your property? The answer to this question could go a long way in determining whether you want to use a portable storage unit.
Deciding Which Storage Method Is Best for You …
In the end, you will need to weigh the benefits of self storage versus the benefits of portable storage units and decide which makes better sense for you.
For example, which do you value more – being able to avoid having to transport your items to a self storage unit or being able to protect your items from extreme temperatures?
By asking yourself these types of questions you’ll be able to better determine the storage method that is right for you and your situation.
Should you end up choosing to use a portable storage unit, here are a few reputable providers and their websites:
- PODS – http://www.pods.com/default.aspx
- U-Haul – http://www.uhaul.com/Storage/
- Portable Storage Units – unitsstorage.com
- 1-800-PACK-RAT – 1800packrat.com
- Door to Door Storage – doortodoor.com
- SmartBox – smartboxusa.com
One More Thing to Consider When Storing Items from a Fire-Damaged House is Self Storage Insurance
Many self storage unit renters are surprised to learn that damage to their stored items is not covered by their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
According to industry experts, whether your items are covered or not often depends on the company that you bought your insurance from as well as what exactly occurs to your belongings.
In general, most insurance policies do protect property stored off-premises for theft and damage from fires and other disasters. However, they often don’t cover damage from flooding, earthquakes and mold and mildew.
Be Sure to Call Your Insurance Agent
That’s why the one of the first things you should do when you store your items in a self storage unit is call your insurance agent and find out exactly what your coverage details are.
Industry experts say that off-premises coverage is usually 10 percent of the overall amount of a homeowner’s policy. That means if you are storing expensive items you may want to see if you can get higher limits.
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