Storing Computer Systems And Parts Long Term

Posted on: 19 August 2016


If you collect a lot of gadgets, have left over systems from repairs or simply have more computer parts and peripheral than your home can hold for much longer, it's time to head to self storage. Boxing up old belongings for storage is nothing new, but you'll need to take some precautions and understand a few things about electronics before storing and when you take the parts out. Here's a bit of tech storage insight that can keep your computers and components in good shape over long-term storage. 

Corrosion And Humidity

If you live in an consistently humid area, there's a lot of dampening threats to deal with. Even without direct rain, anything from linens to pieces of paper can become saturated, stuck together and even begin to come apart if exposed long enough. Electronics can suffer from a similar problem.

Copper, gold, steel and lead are just a few components used to hold electronics together and to transform information in the form of electricity. When exposed to constant humidity, the exposed metals can begin to corrode. The problem becomes worse if you're in a coastal area, as salt water exposure can speed up the corrosion potential. The process takes a long time depending on the level of humidity and the type of materials being exposed, but long-term storage is a situation where a lot of exposure happens.

To defend against humidity, there are a few options that can be used separately or together. Sealing the devices in a container is a good option, and as long as the container has a top that seals and lacks obvious holes to outside area, your devices will be safer for a longer period of time.

Another option would be to install a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are rated based on how many square feet/centimeters can be dried to a safe, dry level consistently. Measure the size of your self storage units of choice (or get the dimensions from the self storage management team) and confirm with a dehumidifier manufacturer to get the model that fits your needs the best.

Dust Collection And Burn Hazards

Dust can't be avoided easily, but it can be managed with a few inexpensive options.

The main problem with dust and electronics is that dust is both ignitable and acts as an effective insulator. When dust covers a piece of electronics which transfers electricity--a form of heat--for any reason, that device won't be able to cool itself efficiently or even passively. This can lead to automatic shutdowns of computers and other devices as a failsafe, or a complete burnout for cheaper electronics that have no safe temperature shutoff.

To protect your devices from dust, the same sealed container option from the humidity section can work as well. Instead of--or in addition to--the dehumidifier, an air purifier with a changeable filter can be added to reduce the amount of dust collecting in the storage room.

One big problem is that self storage isn't something that people tamper with on a regular basis. You'll need a self storage unit with electrical connections, and you'll need to check on your storage room's filter on a regular basis.

The dust cleaning can be augmented with an indoor self storage facility with air conditioning across the entire complex, but this also assumes that the facility inspects the air conditioning filter on a regular basis. Contact a self storage professional, such as those found at Northwest Self Storage, to discuss your options and to inspect the condition of your unit and the entire storage unit property.