How To Save Your Art Room From Mold & Store Your Art Collection Like an Expert
April 11, 20233 min read
Every art collector knows how valuable paintings can be. Some artwork carries emotional and sentimental value, while many other pieces carry history with them. No matter what is the reason why you have an art room, you have to make sure all the art inside is intact. To protect your art, you have to think about mold and how to prevent it. So, let’s see how you can make the art room the safest place in your home.
Preventing Mold Growth
One of the best ways to deal with mold in your art room is to prevent it from growing at all. You can achieve that by reducing or completely eliminating environmental conditions that can spur contamination of the room with mold spores. For example, you can simply keep the windows closed in the art room, which prevents outdoor mold spores from entering. Additionally, you can rely on an electrostatic filtration system to further reduce the presence of spores, and add the central air conditioning to stack those numbers of reducing outdoor spores. However, there are some other things you can do.
Control Relative Humidity
Another great way to prevent mold from forming in your art room is to control the moisture in the air. Also, keep in mind that the amount of moisture absorbed by the artwork depends on the material and the age of your art. However, you can try and control the relative humidity like it is done in museums. Make sure that the humidity of the room is below 60 percent, and there are several ways to achieve this.
One solution is to insulate the room from all sides. You can insulate the walls and make sure to add rfoil to the insulation because it can help prevent condensation and keep the room temperature at an optimum. Also, place dehumidifiers in the room to extract any excess moisture from the air. Make sure to also monitor RH, and keep in mind that the optimum range is between 45 and 55 percent, and set the thermostat to make sure the ambient is always between 64°F and 68°F (18°C and 20°C). Lastly, if you are not making your own exhibit, keep art in closed cardboard boxes.
Improve Air Circulation
In order to properly keep the ambient at an optimal temperature and moisture at the lowest level possible, you have to improve air circulation. This can best be achieved by installing air conditioners. The central air conditioner is the best solution, but if that is not an option, you can rely on small portable ACs or even fans.
Control the Temperature
If you are using large HVAC systems to cool down and heat the art room, you have to control the temperature in the best way possible. Along with that, you have to maintain proper levels of moisture in the room. You can keep the temperature as low as possible when storing your art in this room, and by using dehumidifiers if the room will be occupied by people.
Also, you have to make sure your art is not displayed or stored against outside walls. A recommendation is to keep the art between 15 to 18 inches away from such walls. This prevents moisture from leaks or other outside elements from getting to your art or ventilation systems. It also keeps the art away from possible leaking pipes, vents, and cracks in the walls, and downspouts, which all can cause moisture in walls. You can additionally insulate the pipes and ventilate attics and crawlspaces to make sure the air coming into the room is safe. This will also help you control the temperature of the art room easier.
Starve the Mold
Clothes, furniture, draperies, artwork and books are often made from organic materials. These materials can be broken down into peptides, sugars and amino acids. All these components are food for the mold which can keep it growing and thriving. Additionally, substrates and surfaces made from inorganic materials are also a perfect breeding ground for mold due to their age and the build-up of dust, dirt, and insect debris. To keep your artwork intact, you have to deprive the spores of their nutrients tostarve them out. So, make sure the room is always clean, and minimize the number of organic materials you keep in this room along with your art.
Art can hold great value - both financial and sentimental. That is why great collectors, and museums, make sure it is properly stored and protected. If you are a collector or simply love your art, you should learn how to store it properly. Dedicate a room for your art and make sure the conditions in the room are perfect. Keep the temperature at an optimal level, keep the moisture out, and make sure the room is almost sealed away from the rest of the world.