Storing your artwork properly is a must if you have fine art that you aren’t displaying in your home or business. You want to keep it safe and in great condition just as you were storing it in your home, or better. Unless you have a fully climate-controlled storage unit, this is not possible.
Climate control keeps storage units at a steady temperature and humidity all of the time to prevent damage to the artwork. Keeping the temperature steady keeps moisture and humidity at bay too. But controlling the humidity as well, allows for optimal climate maintenance.
If the storage unit is not climate controlled, humidity may become a problem. Humidity can cause many problems, but here are three different various forms of deterioration:
· Dimensional Change: Paint and other finishes may crack. Fibers can break and lamination can get undone. Materials may warp or split and joints could dislocate.
· Chemical Reaction: Paper can disintegrate and turn yellow. Metals can corrode and glass could cloud. Salts may crystallize and move. Dyes can fade.
· Bio deterioration: Mold growth and bacteria growth on art may cause staining or devour the entire piece.
Having both temperature and humidity control is the only way to keep art safe over the long term. Keeping your art stored in units with climate control will also prevent damage from pests and vermin as well as protect it from exposure to extreme temperatures. Extreme temperatures can do as much damage to your art as a humid environment. It is best to keep the storage climate as steady as possible so that you artwork will not be damaged or ruined.
A word of caution – if you feel safe storing your art in a non-climate controlled location because temperatures in that place do not get extreme in either direction, hot or cold, you are taking a huge risk. A sudden temperature or humidity change, even if not considered extreme, can damage your art. Storing your art in a climate controlled facility that is equipped for artwork storage is the best thing that you can do for your artwork while it is not on display.