How To Store Artwork Safely In A Storage Unit

Whether you need a place to keep your own art between gallery showings, or you simply need to store some artwork that isn't currently displayed in your home, a storage facility can provide a good solution. The key is to store the art properly so that damage won't be a concern.

Common Storage Issues

The main issue faced when storing artwork, no matter where it is stored, is moisture and humidity. Moisture can lead to issues with mold and mildew, as well as stains on canvases and paper. Wood frames can even rot if the moisture level is quite high. In some cases, the damage can be corrected, but often it will destroy the artwork.

Another problem is insect and rodent damage. Some of the glues, papers, and even paints used in artwork can be an attractive food source to these pests. If they gain access to your storage space, they can chew up the artwork and damage the frames. Pests damage is rarely repairable, especially if it has caused extensive damage to the piece.

Unit Selection Strategies

Fortunately, you can eliminate most damage problems simply by choosing the right storage unit. Opt for a climate-controlled unit. These are indoor units that are heated and equipped with dehumidifiers so that moisture is not a problem. When selecting your unit, check it over carefully for any signs of water leaks, such as water stains on walls or ceilings, and only choose those units in good condition.

Further, make sure the unit choose is part of a property that is regularly treated externally for insects and rodents. The facility management should also allow you to treat the interior of your own unit with pesticide sprays so you can further ensure that your stored items are safe.

Art Storage Techniques

How you store your art is another important weapon against damage. Framed art is best wrapped in acid-free paper and then stored in an acid-free box. There are boxes made specifically for framed artwork; do not use just any box, because the chemicals in the cardboard could lead to discoloration.

Unframed art can be stored flat between acid-free stiff cardboard or foam sheets inside an artwork box, or it can be stored rolled up. Use silicone or thin foam art dividers between each art piece. Then, carefully roll them up and store them in an acid-free cardboard tube.

Contact a local storage unit manager to learn more about your options for storing art.