Car Covers & Outdoor Storage

“Should I use a car cover?”

We are often asked if using a car cover is allowed when using outdoor car storage at our facility. The simple answer is yes! It’s your vehicle and you are welcome to use a cover. The correct answer is more complicated and follows a slightly different question: should you use a car cover?

Most people don’t realize that car covers are a kind of double edged sword. Yes, they offer some protection against rain and dust; and against the possibility of twigs, sticks or other debris scratching the paint during strong winds; however, normal vehicles in good condition are made to be outdoors. Car covers trap moisture in after a hard or frequent rain – not good for the paint or the rubber seals. Covers shift and rub during storms and windy days, causing wear in the paint where they make contact. Dust gets under the cover anyway. If you are not going to be visiting the car frequently to remove the cover, inspect for wear, have the car cleaned and securely replace the cover, it’s probably a good idea to leave the vehicle “naked” for storage.

Car Sun Shield

Car Sun Shield

Fit is important when considering a car cover. “One-size-fits-all” covers do not do well in outdoor storage situations because without a tight fit they shift and rub. Cheap covers degrade in a few months of sun, rain and wind. All covers, even custom sized covers, require bungees or tie downs to stay secure over time in outdoor weather conditions.

What do we recommend for outdoor storage of vehicles? Sun Shields, also known as sun reflectors or sun visors. The good news is that they are easy to install, last a long time and are inexpensive. Placed in the windshields of the vehicle, sun reflectors keep light out, prevent fading, prevent dashboard damage including cracking, and keep the temperature of the car down. Custom sun shields are available from many retailers. The advantage of a custom model is a tight fit for the maximum amount of light blocking for your particular vehicle.

At Gateway Storage, we recommend getting a quality wax job on the vehicle before storage, using sun shields in the front and rear windshields and disconnecting the battery for long term outdoor storage. Our facility surface of recycled compacted asphalt will cradle your tires instead of creating a flat spot as a concrete storage surface may do. Our yard staff maintains the facility, routinely cleaning debris and assisting with drainage and snow removal, to ensure your vehicle remains safely stored.

Every storage situation is different. If you plan to monitor your car and your cover frequently, it could be a good option to protect your car’s paint job. If not, consider leaving your vehicle naked and taking the above steps to ensure it stays looking new while in storage.

We offer storage and parking space for all sizes of vehicles at Gateway Storage. Request a quote today to learn more.

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