Preservation Basics

Below are some tips on how to preserve your documents at home in order to ensure a long life for them.  Remember: they are supposed to outlive you.

 Please understand that our treatment will not be effective if you do not follow these guidelines.

Temperature

Always keep documents in a climate-controlled space.  Never expose paper to excessive heat or cold.  Temperatures below 70F are optimal.

Animals

Storing documents safely away from insects and pets is important for preservation. Animals of all sizes can destroy paper.  

Humidity

Keep your thermostat on - even during vacation! Humidity speeds degradation of paper and invites mold and rust, even in the short-term.  Keep it below 60%.

Glue or Tape

Do not put any tape or glue on paper even if you are trying to stabilize it.  Most glues and tapes are harmful and the resulting stains are permanent.

Light

Keep precious documents in drawers, boxes or folders.  Light fades ink and weakens paper (brittleness).  Frame a copy rather than the original.

Lamination

NEVER LAMINATE A DOCUMENT!  This is the worst thing you can do.  Lamination is a death sentence.  It may look good but the above picture shows the long term result.  Also, lamination cannot be undone.


Storage

Store documents in your house and in proper containers (examples pictured below).  Archival containers are best but a clean drawer, folder or box are also good.  Our treatment usually includes a clear protective sleeve but the storage location is up to you.  Many stores sell "archival" or "acid-free" products but that is often not true.  We can help you find the right products (free advice) or order them for you (small additional fee).