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  • Cold Weather

    Snow and ice bring a number of challenges to operators. What preparations have you made at your site to deal with freezing temperatures? Have you altered your office hours or made other staffing changes? Are tenants still accessing units or have you seen a slowdown due to the cold?
    Amy Campbell
    Editor
    Inside Self-Storage
    amy.campbell@informa.com

    @AmyCampbell_ISS
    480.281.6091

  • #2
    WE always lay in some ice melt for the gates and walkways but sometimes we don't need it. Only need if have ice or snow and they are not here that often. The gate traffic is slower now that the holiday decorations are put away and with it getting dark quicker the traffic slows down.
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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    • #3
      Well on Friday last week it snowed a good 6 inches, and was a high in the single digits. And I was still putting finishing touches on my last solar system working outside.

      This last weekend we had highs of a brisk -15 before windchill. Besides the skid loader not wanting to start, no cold or snow related slow downs or break downs to this point.

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      • #4
        Must be kind of tricky up on a roof with snow and wet. Be freakin' careful.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          Roof work was all done already. Just cold on the ground.

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          • #6
            On our next complex I'm going to do heated concrete under the gate in the driveway. Blowing snow drifts can really mess with the IR sensors. We had 2 new move ins yesterday and our high was only 8* so were holding our hours. Lots of coffee!

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            • #7
              We had temps of -45 with the windchill for a week . Believe it or not we had 3 move outs of larger units and one move in . The phone was crazy busy on Dec 27th at temps of almost -50 with the wind ; people looking for storage . Iíve had days where itís blizzarding and brutally cold and have it be busier then some summer days . YES - I hate this weather .

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              • #8
                We've had quite a bit of snow over the past two weeks, enough that the front gate pushes it up against the curb and then locks itself open because it thinks it has hit something. Will likely design a "snow push" space for this with the next facility. Lot has also iced up a few times, but we've been managing it with hand-spread de-icer and had one commercial treatment come in to do a spray before the last big snowfall - it REALLY helped block the ice from forming. Also, frozen locks and doors, we use a small butane torch on the locks - works like a charm - and the doors can just be tapped open with a boot toe. Noticed a big slow down in move-ins, but quite a few move-outs.

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                • #9
                  We now have a name for this crazy weather: bomb cyclone. Even the South is being slammed by snow and bitter cold!
                  Amy Campbell
                  Editor
                  Inside Self-Storage
                  amy.campbell@informa.com

                  @AmyCampbell_ISS
                  480.281.6091

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Quick question, do you shovel out the tenants doors or is it the responsibility of the tenant? We are new to storage this year with a small facility under 100 units. Previous owners always shoveled out each door. As such, we did the same with the last 14 inches of snow we had. Some units had 5 foot high drifts. With that being said, I noticed many facilities in my area did not shovel out units. What is your policy? If it's tenants responsibly, do you have a statement in in the lease?

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                    • #11
                      We do not, it is the tenants responsibility. But when we plow we try to get as close to the door as possible.
                      Dave (Woodee) Scott

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                      • #12
                        I have a professional plow the place, and he is instructed to stay a foot away from buildings to not risk hitting them. I go through with a large snowblower and ride it along the foundation, blowing the snow in the center of the driveways where he can pick it up or it will melt faster.

                        I do not clear out the snow in the door recesses, but I do tell clients that I will come and do it for them if given 24 notice. No one has ever asked. If I am doing a new rental I clear it out and throw down a little salt in the area (normally I do not use any salt).

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                        • #13
                          winter.jpg
                          Driveway cleared. Our insurance broker has advised us not to treat the areas in front of the units. He had a detailed explanation but it came down to getting sued. Crazy, right? Hopefully we get some warm weather!

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                          • #14
                            Most of the time we do not shovel out in front of the doors. But we do shovel out away from hallway entrances, down spouts, key pads, at least one of each size of empty unit if any that might be open. New tenants don't need to be tracking snow into a smooth concrete floor making it a slick death trap. In the event of large snow storms or drifting we will clear away large amounts of snow from tenants units. We do this because if the build up gets to be to big as it melts it will turn into a giant block of ice freezing doors shut and making entry very difficult. I use the future weather and the amount of snow to determine when this should be done. If we will have a quick melt off of a week of warm temps it is not a big risk. If we have a week where it is sunny but not very warm melt off will turn it to ice.

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