When planning to store your cameras and related gear in a self-storage unit, you should be careful about what else you will be storing in the same unit. You should also be careful about the cleanliness of the unit. If you aren't careful, you may get your camera in close contact with dangerous substances that can damage it. Here are four examples of things you should not get close to your camera.
Anything that contains moisture shouldn't be stored together with digital cameras. Moisture is the number one enemy to your cameras. Water conducts electricity, which means it can short-circuit your digital camera's internal circuitry by connecting electrical lines that shouldn't be connected. Catastrophic damage can result if you don't know that your camera has been affected by moisture and turn it on, which will get the current flowing and cause damage.
Dust and sand, as well as other forms of small particles, will damage your camera's lenses and its moving parts. The small sand particles can scratch the lens and cause your camera to take hazy pictures. They will also damage moving parts, such as buttons and dials, by clogging them. The dust can also settle on your camera's image sensor and reduce its picture quality.
Anything oily isn't good for your camera's efficiency. Things like medical ointments, body lotions, and sunscreen will clog your cameras lenses, photo sensor, and other delicate parts. You also don't know the entire range of chemicals contained in the oily substances, some of them may eat away the plastic parts of your cameras.
Salt can damage your camera in multiple ways. Grainy salt will scratch your camera's lenses and clog its moving parts just as sand would. Salt is also an agent of corrosion, which means it will cause the metallic parts of the camera to rust, and the rusted parts won't work as effectively as they did before corrosion. If it gets mixed with water, the salt will form a sticky film over delicate parts of the camera, such as the photo sensor.
Use the above tips to keep your camera gear intact and operational when you collect them from the storage place. Once you know how you will be storing your camera, select a secure self-storage store where your items won't be vandalized or stolen. Talk to the facility manager to gauge the kinds of security measures they have in place, such as video surveillance cameras, door alarms, and restricted access.