A2 Art Storage Private Units

What makes an object need full climate control storage?

Climate Controlled Storage

Storage facilities that are climate controlled, like A2 Art Storage, control the Relative Humidity and temperatures throughout their facilities. In any region where the elements naturally fluctuate, one’s personal valuables that require special care could be negatively affected.  It is important to consider the needs of your object when finding suitable storage solutions near you.

 

A2 Art Storage Private Units
Private units at A2 Art Storage and Services

Relative Humidity

Relative Humidity (RH) in any space can fluctuate rapidly based on the natural elements. This can cause stress on objects. If an RH is too low, it can be too dry for objects and embrittle certain materials. Too high of an RH can create mold growth and corrosion of metals due to thick moisture. Maintaining the perfect amount of moisture in the air is vital to the survival of precious items, i.e. fine art.

 

Temperature

Temperature fluctuations are most likely to affect the “natural aging” of objects. Cooler temperatures tend to help preserve materials. However, too cold and materials like wax or plastic can freeze and break. Too hot, and those same materials can melt. High temperatures will speed up natural chemical deterioration and in conjunction with RH, can begin natural degradation.

Objects that would benefit from climate controlled storage

When considering climate controlled facilities, like A2, here are some examples of objects that typically benefit from such care.

  • Artserve moving fragile American Flag piece. Photo by Glenn Stubbe, 2012

    Art: Artwork can contract or expand with changes in humidity and temperature.

  • Electronics: If maintained in an unsuitable environment for a long time, electronic devices, i.e. circuiting components, will mold or oxidize.
  • Fabrics or papers: Delicate fabrics or papers can mold in humid environments, while excessive temperatures can cause paper to discolor.
  • Vinyl: The risk of warping increases with varying temperatures, whereas the chance of breaking increases with decreasing temperature.
  • Antique wood or metal items: All metals will oxidize and change color in response to moisture. Wood will expand and contract in response to temperature, making it vulnerable to rot and mold.


Degradation and Signs You Should Consider Protecting Your Art

Art comes in all different shapes and sizes. With this comes a variety of practices for keeping your art safe and protected from the elements. If you don’t know what to look for as signs of degradation, the art could become compromised without even knowing. Here is some classic evidence of degradation and signs you should have a professional look into protection:

Example of a sculpture that may need protection and conservation. Image from B.R. Howard Conservation.

Paintings

Loss of gloss or color. Chalkiness or peeling. Oftentimes, UV light or a smoky environment can change your piece over time.

Sculpture

Glue discoloration, or paint degradation. Corrosion in metal, sometimes resulting in patina. Decomposition of materials due to climate, odors.

Fiber Arts

A fibers’ color can change due to the dye and age, but sometimes it also changes due to sun and climate. Texture of fibers changing. Crusty, crunchy, or breaking of fibers. Decomposition.

Paper Mediums

Acids and acidic materials (ex. Cardboard) can cause pieces to deteriorate. Discoloration, reddish brown spots. Mold or musty smell. Flaking, crumbling, or breaking of paper fibers.

When considering if your piece is safe from degradation or not, it may be worth considering its options. If you would like to find restoration, look into transportation services and art handlers, like our sister company, Artserve, to transport. Similar to the services we offer at A2, valuable art work requires professional handlers with expertise to handle with the upmost care. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

Where will your valuable work end up after you’ve successfully restored or protected your work?

How will you ensure its safety after it has found its resting spot?

Storage is a very good option! Temporary storage or not, art storage facilities typically have climate/humidity control and other amenities that will ensure the longevity of life for whatever your piece needs.

If your piece returns home, and you are worried about the conditions your home provides for the piece, consider the aforementioned signs and contact your art handlers for further steps to be taken.