If you have recently come into an inheritance of artwork or you have invested in some artwork, you want to store it someplace secure and temperature-controlled. It is vital to the survival of the artwork that it not be exposed to temperature extremes or humidity/water. If you are going to use self storage services, be sure they are very secure and that the units you rent are both temperature- and humidity controlled units. Here is why your units need to be a specific temperature and humidity to store art.
Humidity Damages Metal Sculptures (as Well as Paintings)
Both paintings and metal scultptures are affected by high humidity. Bronze and copper sculptures can corrode or acquire a less-than-desired green patina that reduces their value, should you ever decide to sell them. High humidity can affect old oil paint and varnish, making it very tacky, like glue. It may also cause the remaining oil in the paint to seep through and stain the back of the canvas, creating a very unsightly sign that the paintings were improperly stored. For this reason, humidity has to be kept at a very comfortable level--neither too high or too low, since very dry air conditions can cause paintings to crack.
Extremes in Heat and Cold
When extreme heat accompanies changes in humidity, it can have a devastating effect on paintings. High heat and no humidity (or very low humidity) causes paint and varnish to dry out, crack and flake off. High heat and high humidity causes the paintings to "sweat" oil and the condensation on them creates the perfect conditions for mold. Artist's oil paint contains organic oils, usually from linseed, and organic oil on natural fiber canvas can rot just like any other organic material. Extreme cold freezes the paintings, causing the stretchers, paint and canvas to contract in different directions, which could result in some serious damage when the paintings are thawed out or warmed by a change in location or temperature.
Metal sculptures can handle extremes in temperatures, but not in humidity. While a metal sculpture could be kept in a very cold or hot location, it would still need to be kept quite dry. If you have both paintings and metal sculptures in your collection, and wish to store them in the same storage unit, it is very important that they are stored in the perfect temperature and humidity level that is the accepted standard for storing artwork.
For self storage services, contact a company such as Hi-Tech Self Storage.