Whether you are an experienced collector or a beginner, you know that antiques are beautiful pieces that ensure a special connection between different generations. They are timeless, valuable and even irreplaceable. Age and artistry represent main factors that contribute to the value of antiques but a real collector knows that conservation is equally important. Learning how to preserve these treasures properly requires time, resources and engagement. If this subject does not raise your interest or if you are a busy person that simply does not pay attention to these things, you do not have to go into details. However, keeping in mind certain basic considerations in terms of storage for different collections is not difficult and it will avoid ruining them. In this case, exploring basic storage units becomes useless because antiques demand special conditions that only climate-controlled units can provide.
Temperatures and humidity control
Extreme temperatures changes can prove to be extremely dangerous for pieces made from organic materials including paper, wood and cloth. Apparently, the ideal temperature for storing antiques and collectibles is approximately 64 degrees and a climate-controlled storage unit can maintain it throughout the year. Humidity represents another enemy that attacks delicate materials and ruins them. More exactly, excessive levels of humidity create the ideal environment for rust affecting metal items, not to mention the mold, which can grow on the stored objects and the insects, which breed faster. On the other hand, in the lack of humidity, paintings for instance, can shrink or crack. For this reason, obtaining the perfect balance in terms of humidity is crucial for preserving your precious antiques. According to specialists, 50% is ideal. You just need to speak with the facility management and inform them regarding your items needs and your specific requirements.
Avoid light and excessive handling
When storing antiques or collectibles, make sure the respective space does not have windows that allow the blinding sunlight to enter and harm organic materials like paper, wood and textiles. Apart from drying out the sensitive materials, harsh light speeds up chemical reactions leading to fading colors in fabrics and art prints. It may sound surprising, but even resistant materials, such as plastics remain vulnerable when placed in direct sunlight. Keep the lights levels fairly low and if you are serious regarding the protection of your valuable antiques, you can even use light meters or visit the facility more often in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly and your pieces of art look and feel impeccable. Speaking of touching, you probably already know that excessive handling can causes major damage to such delicate pieces, which means that you have to give close attention during packing and transport. People have oily residues on their hands, which can remain on the items’ surface leading to their deterioration. In museums, curators wear cotton gloves when handling antiques and collectibles. It is not a bad idea to keep a pair of gloves at your disposal and wear them every time you handle your collections, especially when dealing with very fragile items.