When you're storing family heirlooms or important documents that absolutely must not get damaged in storage, a climate-controlled storage unit is a must-have investment. However, don't go too far in assuming the the unit will automatically be better protected from other damage risks, especially pests. Find out why pests can still be a problem in a climate-controlled unit and what to do about it.
Gaps and Cracks
Storage units that are air conditioned and heated are usually more tightly sealed than generic units because the business owner will spend a lot more on keeping the units climate controlled if they allow drafts to waste energy. Yet even the best-sealed unit still probably has at least one or two small cracks or gaps hidden somewhere in the structure. It only takes a tiny crack for insects to squeeze through, and even rats and mice and fit in gaps about 1/4th of an inch in size. These gaps could easily be hidden by paint or door mounting equipment, allowing pests to enter even though there's no visible entry point.
Don't forget about the ducts that connect the individual storage unit to the rest of the climate control system. These ducts are usually built into the units themselves, making it hard to inspect every inch for gaps. Once bugs or mice get into the ductwork, they can use it as a sort of highway system to quickly travel to different units and spread their infestation. Even completely intact duct systems may have openings purposefully cut into them for air flow that are big enough to let in bugs unless they're covered with metal mesh. You can't eliminate ductwork and still enjoy the benefits of climate control, so don't turn down a particular unit just because it has a direct connection to a larger system and the surrounding units.
So what should you do to make sure your climate-controlled storage unit won't end up with a pest problem? Check out how the storage center handles pest control as a whole. A business that pays for routine spraying and professional inspection is unlikely to host a major infestation, preventing damage to your stuff no matter how many gaps there are in the storage unit. It's more important that the entire business is secured with timely and routine pest control than if a particular unit has certain features that could let possibly bugs in. If there are no bugs or mice in the entire area, they're not going to get to your stuff.