Faqs About Climate Controlled Storage For Art
Do you need a climate controlled storage unit for your art collection? Whether you have works on paper, photographs, paintings on canvases, sculptures, or other types of art, take a look at the top storage-related questions collectors have answered.
Why Do You Need Climate Controlled Storage Services for Your Art?
Unlike your cotton clothing and fabric-covered furniture, temperature and humidity extremes can negatively affect artworks. The effects of high heat, cold, excessive moisture, and dryness vary by type of work—but these could include:
Warping. Works on paper and photos can warp or curl at the edges in high heat/high moisture environments. The result is a bumpy, curved, or uneven piece of art.
Dimensional deterioration. Works on paper may also deteriorate in high temperature, high humidity storage spaces. This type of breakdown can ruin drawings, water colors, photos, and other paper medium artworks and may include dimensional changes such as breaks in the fibers, cracking, or losses of surface material.
Mold growth. According to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, relative humidity levels of 70 percent or above can promote biodeterioration issues, such as mold growth.
Along with these potential problems a non-climate controlled storage unit may have temperatures or humidity levels that cause corrosion in art made with metals, cause pigments to fade, cloud glass, or result in discoloration of paper, fabric, or other similar mediums.
What Type of Climate Controlled Rental Unit Do You Need?
If this is your first experience with climate controlled storage solutions, talk to the rental manager or the facility staff about what each unit offers. Most facilities don't allow individual customers to change the temperature or humidity levels themselves. Instead, the units all maintain one constant temperature/moisture setting year-round. This reduces winter-time cold and dryness issues and summer-time heat and humidity problems. Ask the storage facility staff to explain the temperature and humidity settings. These must match the needs of the artwork that you need to store.
Even though you need climate controls and humidity controlled storage to stop temperature/moisture-related damage, the indoor air setting isn't the only way to keep your artwork safe. Along with climate controls, storage units are typically light-free dark spaces. This means you won't need to worry about the sun's damaging UV rays or the added heat that could transfer into your storage unit. Make sure that your rental unit doesn't have windows and has enough insulation around the door to keep light out.