Self-storage facilities vary greatly in terms of the type of environment they offer and general layout. Most will offer a range of self-storage unit sizes from a box-sized unit that will suit an individual with few storage needs, areas where you can store up large vehicles such as RVs, motor homes and boats through to warehouse type space for business storage. Some self-storage facilities will offer all options whereas others specialize in more limited ones.
The actual self storage units on offer are also very different. They can for example be purpose built garage-type buildings, walk-in partitioned rooms or steel units within a purpose built facility. Some facilities keep all their units at ground level and others use buildings with more than one level, especially for smaller units.
In all cases, self-storage companies should be committed to keeping their environment and their units clean, dry, safe and vermin free. The best security measures in the world will be no use to you if your unit roof leaks or rats chew their way through your clothes. Most self-storage companies will commit to certain environment standards and clean every unit before a new user moves in. If you're unsure about the state of a unit or the general environment, ask to look at an empty one. It'll be apparent if there is a serious problem.
The self-storage environment you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and, occasionally on your location. If you live in a humid environment or are seeking to archive important business documents then you may be looking for a facility that offers climate control. In some cases, climate control or dust control comes as standard across an entire facility - in others, you may be offered it as an additional environment option. Climate control will either heat or cool your unit to a safe level. In all cases, you'll probably find that you're paying a higher price although it'll be worth it in the long run as a controlled environment will offer additional protection for vulnerable stored items.
Your self-storage provider should always be willing to discuss the pest control measures that are undertaken on site. These may include vermin bait and regular sprayings to combat insect infestation. A quick look round a self-storage environment and specific units will give you clues to any ongoing problems - if you spot mouse droppings, for example, you can check on the measures being taken to alleviate the problem. They may also be willing to let you take action yourself within your unit environment for added protection. For example, you can always add mothballs to your wardrobe boxes to safeguard your clothes. It's also vital to remember if you have children that self-storage sites are not playgrounds. Aside from the danger of vehicles moving back and forth, they must be discouraged from picking up things from the floor as it could be vermin or insect bait.