As you’re wrapping up your spring cleaning, you might have found a surprising number of old family photos sitting around your house. You could put them in an album and forget about them again until next year when you’re cleaning your home. Instead, use these tips to store them the right way and keep them well-preserved so you can treasure them for years to come.
- Watch the temperature: Just like pharmaceutical products, which can be damaged by even a two degree Celcius variation in temperature, photographs are sensitive to heat as well. When picking a place to store your photos, keep the average temperature in mind. The lower the temperature the longer your items will last because cooler temperatures slow the rate of chemical decay and reduce insect activity. Keep the temperature below 75 degrees to ensure your photos last a long time.
- Protect them from light: Light and UV rays can damage print photos, even over shorter periods of time. When picking a place to display your photos, avoid spots in your home where they’ll regularly be exposed to direct sunlight. Even if your pictures are protected by frames and other materials, keeping them out of the light is a great preventive measure to avoid fading.
- Careful with materials: Many photo albums feature peel-and-stick materials for your pictures, but avoid these. The components can deteriorate and decay over time, damaging your precious pictures. Ensure any materials you’re using to store or stack your photos are acid-free and don’t have any chemicals that could harm or alter your photos in any way.
- Consider digitizing: While having the original print photos is ideal, accidents do sometimes happen. In case something happens to your photo albums, you want to have a copy of your treasured photos. Many online services and apps now exist to safely digitize your antique photos, just in case something happens to the original print copies.
Antique photos are great sentimental items to hold onto for you and your family, but storing them properly is essential. Use these tips to keep your old and antique print photos safe from environmental factors so that you can enjoy them and pass them down to younger generations for years to come.