Inside Self-Storage Magazine 07/2004: Plague Prevention

Teri L. Lanza Comments
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Plague Prevention

When Mercutio cries out, “A plague o’ both your houses!” in Act III of Romeo and Juliet, he meant more specifically, “May pigeons roost on the eaves of both your houses!” He must have.

Pigeons are a pestilence. At my last home, a family of about 30 of these vermin would languish on the roof just above my uncovered patio. A leisurely lunch with friends would turn into a bubonic banquet faster than you could say “foul” (pun absolutely intended). I complained incessantly to my HOA regarding the squatters, to little avail. Six months of haranguing got me a paltry row of plastic spikes nailed around my HVAC unit—on which, of course, the birds expressed themselves in a most colorful manner.

When my betrothed and I unloaded the trappings of our single lives and combined households last year, we purchased a lovely home in a respectable neighborhood we were certain would be graffiti, litter and piccione free. I did a little dance when I relinquished the keys to my town home—the dance of “I am ever rid of those winged rat creatures!”

Now, the more sharp-witted readers are certainly cackling a devilish laugh as they think, “Nay is this the end of the tale.” They are correct. As I reclined for the first time on the deck of our new sanctuary, decadently sipping an apple martini and relishing the solitude of life between fences, I breathed a deep sigh of gratification … Then suffered a conniption upon hearing the galling coo of none other than my own sworn adversary.

Like the protagonist of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” I thought I must be imagining that most-dreaded sound. Slowly, tenaciously I upturned my gaze to the roofline. Meeting my startled stare was none other than a member of that despised tribe, nestled sweetly between an assemblage of plastic spikes and an electric pest-dissuading device. “Curses!” I shrieked, and promptly downed my drink before it could be contaminated with gifts from above.

Those not amused by my anecdotes will be thinking, “Get to the point.” Very well: This month’s issue focuses on the art of self-storage maintenance and remodeling, emphasizing the importance of a properly functioning, aesthetic facility that will lure customers like insects to a Venus Flytrap and earn you gobs of bottom-line profit. Just as I practice regular household maintenance that includes hurling small rocks at birds on my roof, so too must storage operators devise a routine schedule for facility repair and cleanliness.

Whether yours is an older facility desperate for refurbishments or a sparkling new site that needs only to be kept that way, simple attention to detail will save time and avoid unnecessary expenditure down the line. Prevent the plague of neglect from swooping upon your business. Your tenants, buildings and wallets will equally appreciate the effort.

Here’s to mirthful maintenance,

Teri L. Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

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