Bedrock Restoration

The Art of Avoiding Disaster

At A2 we know the reasons for storing high value objects, such as art or antique furniture, vary widely from client to client. Some of our clients store temporarily, during a large home renovation or seasonally if their house is going to be vacant for an extended period of time. It’s during these time periods, when homeowners are not actively monitoring their homes, that damage can occur. 

Disaster restoration groups have seen the worst of the worst. We touched base with Dan Oppedisano, owner of Bedrock Restoration, to discuss some of these emergency situations and how they can negatively affect your high value goods.

A2: Thanks for lending your expertise, Dan. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your company?

Dan: Sure! Bedrock Restoration is a disaster restoration company service Minneapolis, St. Paul and many of the surrounding cities. We offer customers a variety of restoration services including water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and mold removal.

Dan Oppedisano owner bedrock restoration
Dan Oppedisano, Owner Bedrock Restoration

A2: In your experience, what types of damage have you seen to high-value personal property (Such as art or antiques)?

Dan: We’ve seen all types of damage. Water damage from pipes bursting, smoke damage from fires (large or small).  Aside from the obvious physical damage from water and fire, objects can hold the odor from smoke. Additionally, condensation from heat of a fire mixing with the moisture in the air can cause water to build up on objects which leaves dripping watermarks.

A2: What do you recommend homeowners do to keep their high value objects safe at home? Any tips and tricks for storing safely?

Dan: If not currently installed for display, we recommend keeping artwork on elevated levels such as 2nd floor and above.  Most water damage issues occur between the first level and basement so storing them in those areas puts them at higher risk. Additionally, elevate the artwork on a pallet or shelf and avoid leaning against a wall.

A2: Let’s talk insurance. How and when does a collector need to file a claim for damaged artwork? How does home restoration play into this timeline?

Dan: Always contact your insurance agent as soon as you can to talk through the decision of a claim. If you decide to make a claim you want to do it ASAP.  The most important piece of all this is to document as much as possible – you can’t ever have too much documentation.  Take tons of photos and also videos of everything that’s going on around you and the environment – you never know what might get stored on camera and help.

A2: Why are you a proponent of ‘off-site’ art storage for art collectors? How does offsite storage differ from at home when it comes to safety?  

Dan: During a home renovation, or post disaster, we always recommend storing valuables off-site. Additionally, given some of the situations I’ve encountered, temporary storage can be a great option seasonally if the homeowner is traveling for an extended period, say south for the winter or to a cabin for the summer. A facility like A2 is really special to have here in the Twin Cities because of its environmental controls as well as the dry pipe fire suppression system and extensive security. The best part is A2 can pick-up, store and reinstall when the homeowner is ready, so it really takes the guesswork out of storing even a small number of pieces. 

A2: Anything else you want to share with art owners?

Dan:  As a restoration contractor we see a lot of damage to personal property and oftentimes it seems there were ways to avoid it.  Being proactive about your valuables before the issues occur is key. Artwork is expensive, insurance can be expensive, but storage is not!

Bedrock Restoration is a disaster restoration company serving Minneapolis, St. Paul, and many of the surrounding cities. We offer customers a variety of restoration services including water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and mold removal. Our mission is to take care of people by doing things the right way every time. Our customers choose us to help them when they need it the most and we pride ourselves on being there for them every time. We know that when disaster occurs you want reliable professionals that care about you and your property as if it were their own. Bedrock Restoration is a locally owned disaster restoration company that was started right here in Minnesota and proudly serves all 7 counties of the Twin Cities.

Are you interested in taking the next step in proactively protecting your collection? Contact Us to learn about our cost-effective options for storing your collection! 

A2 Art Storage Humidity

Importance of Humidity as Seasons Change

As seasons begin changing here in Minnesota, one element that you may not have thought of is humidity. The humidity in an average home changes as the seasons change and the biggest drops occur in the winter months. This is because the outdoor air is cold and dry. As the fall and winter seasons progress, the home fills with this dry air. Without humidification added to the environment, the average home will drop to between 25% and 35% RH (Relative humidity). Many times we can feel this dryness as it shows up as itchy skin or even a sore throat. 

These low humidity levels can affect artwork as well. Low moisture levels might cause artwork to shrink and take a different shape from its original version. Overly dry air can cause cracks on pieces of art, especially those made up of wood. The finish on these items can also become brittle and look different from how it was created and wooden artwork might warp if continuously exposed to dry air.

A2 Art Storage Humidity
Humidification at A2 Art Storage & Services

Metal inlays, marquetry, and paint could become loose and detach when the levels of humidity in the surrounding air are too low. The situation is even worse when it comes to artwork made of paper or papyrus; these will simply lose the writings, and with time, get torn. Artwork that contains hair or silk can also become brittle and break when the indoor air is too dry. Pottery and terracotta are also among prime objects that might crack due to excessively low humidity levels. 

According to Museum Registration Methods, 5th ed, by Rebecca Buck & Jean Allman Gilmore, environmental stability is one of the most important aspects to maintaining a collection of objects over the long term. They say, “fluctuations in either temperature or RH cause stress to collections materials by forcing them to expand and contract on a microscopic level. This stress eventually wears out the collections.” 

This importance of environment to collections management, as well as the fluctuations in the humidity of our northern climate, are why A2 takes temperature and humidity so seriously. Each room of our art storage space is kept at a stable 70 degrees F (+/ – 3) and 50% Relative Humidity (RH) (+/ – 3) all year around. This climate composition establishes a constant atmosphere that safeguards your art from developing the types of damage that are typically associated with art being stored in an uncontrolled environment.

Are you interested in taking the next step in protecting your collection? Contact Us to learn about our cost-effective options for storing your collection!