What Would You Do? Self-Storage Maintenance Maladies

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What SHOULD you do?

Fawcett: Paint is the least expensive “pick me up”  possible. A new wall color or fresh coat of paint is a quick change that gives instant results. Creating an accent-colored wall in the office or adding striping are other options. Creating some new attractive graphic elements or adding pictures where appropriate can also liven up a dull space.

Another idea that’s often overlooked is making changes to the lighting. New fixtures can improve the physical appearance of a space, help make the light brighter or diffuse, and can affect the direction of the light. In addition, adjusting the placement of fixtures, adding small accent lights, choosing bulbs with different color temperatures, lumens or special characteristics (i.e., reflectorized vs. LED or fluorescent bulbs)  can help impart a whole different feel to an office space.
Old cabinets and counters can be refreshed with an overlay of new laminate and hardware for a fraction of the cost of replacement.

Do a walk-through trying to see the property as a potential or current customer would. It might even help to have a third party do the same walk-through, as we tend to overlook things if we see them every day. A  shabby appearance in one key area not only sends the obvious message but may send a hidden message about the general quality of your facility and service that may encourage more complaints.

What would you do if your doors started to malfunction?

As unit doors age, there’s bound to be some that don’t work as well as they used to. Jerry Hughes (SMSSId), an SST senior member and owner and manager of Save Most Self Storage in

Caldwell, Ida., has come across this problem a time or two. He’s learned to adjust the doors’ spring tension to keep them operating smoothly. He has also readjusted the tensions in some doors that had not been installed correctly. “That was a little tough because of the duel springs. I probably should get a couple springs just to have on hand," he says.

What SHOULD you do?

Fuhlman: Today’s roll-up doors are virtually maintenance-free, but occasionally you’ll find that an adjustment needs to be made so they open and close with ease. First, if you’re using an electric operator, be sure it’s disengaged so you can test the door manually. Next, test the spring tension. Raise and lower the door to test the balance. If the door is easy to close but hard to open, you’ll need to add spring tension. If the door is hard to close but easy to open, you’ll need to remove spring tension.

This can be easily adjusted by your self-storage manager. It simply takes a winding bar or screwdriver being inserted into the tensioner on the barrel bracket. Rotate the device clockwise to add tension or counterclockwise to remove it. If tensioning the door does not solve your issues, contact your manufacturer for a visit from a trained door technician.

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