Storing Photos in a Storage Unit

By Nick Bilava,

Photographs are very easily damaged and not so easily replaced. Because of the memories they represent, you should take extra care when storing them.

There are many factors that can damage a photo, including light, dust, temperature, humidity, chemicals, and oil. Because of this vulnerability, storing photos in a storage facility can be very harmful to your photo collections. But, like everything else, if you do it the right way, you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Climate Control

Your top priority, if you plan on storing photos in your storage unit, should be in finding a climate-controlled unit. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on photographs and cause them to fade rapidly. In fact, it’s highly suggested that you don’t store photos in any storage unit other than one that’s climate-controlled.

If climate control is not available, try to get an indoor access unit in order to prevent the effects of sun and precipitation on your unit’s temperature and humidity levels.

Also, if you are planning on only storing photos for a short time, you should be able to get away with using a regular storage unit, if you take the proper precautions. Just don’t plan on storing your photos in a unit without climate control for long periods of time.

Protecting Your Photos

Other than the unit, itself, there are other ways to protect your precious photographs. Using photo albums for storage is a great idea, as they help to prevent any dust scratching that can occur over time. Albums also help prevent oils from damaging pictures when they’re handled by people.

Look for albums that have a label indicating they have passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) to ensure that they don’t contain materials that can damage your photos. There should be a clear label on any item that’s passed the PAT, so it shouldn’t be hard to check. You can even double up on protection by placing those albums in boxes and containers that also passed the PAT.

Make Copies

Of course, there are people who prefer printed pictures (That’s why you’re worried about storing them in the first place), but in order to protect your photos from loss, you should create some digital backups. That way, in the case of a fire, flood, or other disaster, you will still have access to the memories that are important to you.

Also, you might want to store negatives in your home for the same reason. The nice thing is that storing negatives in your home is a lot easier due to their smaller size.

If you plan to store photographs in a storage unit, make sure you take the proper precautions and store them as safely as possible. The last thing you want is for your photos to fade, rip, or get scratched while they’re away in storage. As a general rule, always make sure you have a backup for the pictures that are important to you.  Accidents and disasters do happen, but this way you won’t have to worry about losing those precious memories.