There’s no denying that antiques are inherently fragile. Even sturdy, well-constructed antique furniture is susceptible to damage if not cared for properly. But is it at risk of damage, even if it is in storage? Unfortunately, it may be, if you don’t follow smart storage tips, including using heated storage units. Read on for what to know about storing antiques safely, and why using heated storage units to protect antiques is crucial.
Risks to Antiques
Antiques will lose value if they are damaged. For many people, however, the financial damage is second to the emotional pain of seeing a family heirloom damaged or destroyed. Indeed, when it comes to antiques, keeping them in good condition is a priority for owners. To that end, it’s important to avoid the most common risks to antiques.
Sustained sunlight streaming in from a window or skylight may flood your home with beautiful natural light. However, it can quickly fade fabrics and damage the wood finish. If you’re storing antiques, avoid units that offer direct sunlight.
Water in its natural state or in the air (humidity) can destroy antiques. Impurities in flood water destroy fabrics, art, prints, and photography. It also weakens and stains wood. Likewise, water in the form of humidity can warp invaluable pieces very quickly. Moreover, air that is lacking water is risky, as very dry air can cause antiques to crack.
Heat can cause materials such as wood to expand. This can lead to weakened furniture joints and hinges. Heat may also melt adhesives. Prolonged heat can also destroy antique artwork, by causing the ink to fade.
Extreme cold can also wreak havoc on antiques, which is why experts recommend using heated storage units in the winter. Cold temperatures can lead to the contraction of materials, which over time can lead to loosened drawers, joints, and more. Paint can become brittle or may develop white spots.
Wood-boring pests such as moths, beetles, lice, and cockroaches can and do destroy antiques. Unfortunately, many are attracted to natural adhesives (paste, hide, rabbit skin glue) that were used to make antiques, or may have been used in restorations. Similarly, rats and mice are known to chew on virtually any material that may be useful for nest-building.
Just like people and pets wear down over time, so do antiques. Although you don’t have any control over time, you can make sure that you mitigate risk factors that are under your control. If you’re storing antiques, you need to ensure that they are stored in heated storage units for the winter, cool storage units in the summer, and humidity-controlled units year-round.
Climate-Controlled Storage Units Are Necessary for Antiques
Fortunately, you don’t need different storage units for different seasons. But you will need to be selective about the storage unit you choose. To safeguard your prized antiques, look for climate-controlled storage units that double as heated storage units, and cool storage units, as the weather requires.
Remember to look beyond just the temperature when choosing a storage unit for your antiques. Be sure to find a storage facility that also boasts humidity control and pest control.
Tips for Storing Antiques Safely in a Storage Unit
Once you’ve found a unit that will act as a heated storage unit and a cool storage unit all in one, you’ll need to store antiques carefully. Here is exactly how to store antiques safely:
- Clean the furniture
- Put on gloves before handling antiques
- Disassemble items if possible
- Store antique art standing up, in a crate
- Avoid bubble wrapping; use cloths or sheets instead
- Do not stack antiques
- Label all boxes as fragile
Heated Storage Units in Lane County
Armored Storage provides climate and humidity-controlled storage units, perfect for storing antiques. We also provide pest control to further protect your cherished heirlooms. Our storage facility is surrounded by a perimeter fence and surveilled with more than 50 cameras. If you’re looking for the best storage unit in Lane County for antiques, contact us to learn more by calling 541.688.1301. You may also send us a message.