Art, old photographs, and documents are a class of precious items especially vulnerable to the negative effects of temperature and humidity. These are also the possessions often stored in dank basements and stuffy attic spaces, which accelerate their deterioration. In other instances, well-intended collectors preserve their art with air conditioners designed to cool human beings. Wine Guardian Pro cooling units provide tighter climate control protection—within plus or minus 1 F° (0.5 C°)—that will preserve valuables for a long period of time. Custom solutions are also available to meet the specific needs of any unique application. To make an informed decision one must first understand how it all works.
Fine art is sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and humidity. Paints, canvases and even wood frames swell and contract at different rates as they adjust, particularly to water vapor in the air, which causes cracking and peeling. However, maintaining pristine conditions when displaying art is virtually impossible. At a minimum, keep it away from air conditioners, fireplaces, and any direct heat or cold sources. Ventilation and fresh air are also critical, since airflow prevents the buildup of harmful moisture that can result in mold and mildew.
For larger or more valuable collections, a climate-controlled system appropriate for art—like Wine Guardian Pro—that can maintain consistent temperatures of around 65℉ (18℃) and 60% relative humidity are ideal for long-term preservation.
Old Photographs & Documents
Like art, old photos and paper are susceptible to damage when exposed to unsuitable temperatures and humidity. Extreme conditions often found in attics or basements cause the fastest deterioration. High temperatures and humidity in summer—and low in winter—result in brittle photos and wrinkled paper. Moreover, damp basements cause photos to stick together.
Appropriate conditions are under 70℉ (21℃), with relative humidity under 50%. Although comfort cooling air conditioners might be able to provide a consistent temperature, they are not typically engineered to maintain ideal storage conditions of 68℉ ± 2° and relative humidity of 50% ± 5%. Please contact us today to find out how our Wine Guardian Pro systems can preserve your most prized art, documents and photographs.