Climate control is key to storage
Whether for personal or business reasons, lots of people need an external storage unit for their belongings. There are many options available, but certain materials or items require extra attention when choosing a storage solution. We share with you which items demand particular climate conditions in order to avoid damage even during prolonged storage.
Furniture should generally be stored in climate-controlled storage units. Even purely wooden furniture without leather or fabric upholstery is affected by heat, cold or humidity levels higher than 55%. Temperature fluctuations can cause wooden furniture to warp resulting in damage. In general, wood and upholstery is affected by humidity, therefore the storage unit should maintain a low and, most importantly, constant humidity of 55%. Leather furniture also cannot withstand significant temperature fluctuations, which can cause tears and discolouration.
From a large piano (with a lot of wood), a clarinet or guitar to electronic accessories such as drum pads or loop stations, almost all instruments require specialised storage. If a piano is exposed to major temperature fluctuations and high humidity over a long period, the keys and the whole wooden frame can be damaged. Heat can also damage the glue, causing parts to come away or become loose. If brass instruments, such as trumpets, are exposed to high humidity, they can tarnish and become mouldy. Woodwind instruments, such as a clarinet, shrink in storage conditions which are too hot and humid.
Clothes are also susceptible to external influences such as high humidity, optimal humidity is between 45-55%. So, you might end up with mothballs if you store your clothes in the cellar, or even mould and mildew if your clothes are stored in humid conditions.
Art / Paintings
No UV light, humidity between 50-65% and a constant room temperature of approximately 20 degrees Celsius. A storage unit must fulfil all of these requirements to be able to accommodate oil paintings. Photos and prints also have exacting requirements. They should be kept in low humidity between 35-45% and photos should also not be exposed to UV light, otherwise the picture will soon fade and disappear.
Important documents such as business records, degree certificates or even book collections require good storage because constant temperature fluctuations and high humidity of over 50% can permanently damage paper. In addition, oxidisation can occur in paper, causing permanent yellowing.
Metal objects, regardless of whether they are collectors’ items such as antique sculptures, chalices or candlesticks, or everyday items such as cutlery and tools, should all be stored in a place with low humidity of 20-45%. Otherwise the items can oxidise and rust.