Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Great Cave Flood of 2016

Today, The Cave is completely dry. 

It's been two weeks since I could say that.  A series of broken pipes affected over 30 lockers, though not before taking out a few apartments in magnificent style and also affecting three store fronts.

Any/Every wine storage has potential for events that could ultimately affect your product, natural (earthquake) or accidental (plumbing, etc).  Here are some ways to minimize the effects of these events.
Water.  Most-not-all lockers have a false floor, a piece of wood laid across the bottom, resting on 2x2's.  Almost all the potential water damage was via water on the floor seeping under lockers.  Every locker that had wood across the bottom was unaffected.  Every locker that did not have wood, where the boxes or crates were sitting directly on the floor, were affected. Those lockers were emptied, boxes replaced, wet bottles dried, and wood laid down.  The lockers that were affected from above:  again, what was in boxes became wet boxes and no wine was lost.  Lockers that had individual bottles at the very top with no protection had damaged labels.  Lockers have steel mesh on top to allow for air circulation.  If you are apt to break your bottles out for a quick grab-n-go, you may want to consider rotating the bottles so the label is facing at least sideways, and also laying some cardboard across them as an added layer of protection.  As long as the corks remain unhindered, you can even lay plastic across the bottles. 

Earthquake.  Many people opt for a series of smaller lockers over a walk-in precisely to keep their wine safe in case of earthquake. The lesser lockers allow you to pack boxes into a snug fit.  If you have a walk-in that has floor space, the potential exists that all your wine can tumble into the middle of that space.

Air Conditioning. One of the great benefits to having your wine underground is what can happen to it if the AC goes out: very little.  Though The Cave does not have a back up system, repairs are within 24 - (absolute worst-case) 36 hours. Ambient temperature fluctuation during this period is in the 5 - 7 degree range.  By the time your wine reacts, the AC is repaired.

Insure your product.  The Cave lease is a standard California Self-Storage lease, and bears no burden of insurance for damaged product.  It is up to you to insure your own wine. Some people do this through existing homeowners insurance and some get specific wine insurance.  Others opt to not insure at all.  I have no definitive suggestion on this.  I have heard that insurance is no guarantee you will recoup total losses; you need receipts, proofs of value, etc.  Be sure to ask about that when shopping.

Let's look at your locker!  Just so you know, the persons belonging to every locker in the water zone was notified and every necessary step was taken to rectify vulnerabilities. Let's keep doing that. On a visit, soon, when you have the time to do so, come in and we'll look at your locker to see if and how we might adjust it to better protect your product.