Tips For Storing Art in the Southern Climate

Person sculpting

Storing your belongings where there’s a high risk of intense heat is a challenge many folks face, especially in the south. If you live in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, or Puerto Rico, you know what intense heat feels like, and also know it can damage items if they aren’t stored correctly. That’s especially true for art and artworks, most of which can’t take the south’s climate. To help you avoid problems and ensure your art stays in good condition, Southern Self Storage put together the following tips for storing art in the southern heat.

A Quick Note about Extreme Southern Heat

If you’re new to living in the southern part of the United States, you might need to understand how damaging the intense heat can be. Some states, like Florida and Arizona, see extreme heat for several months, often topping 100℉. These temps aren’t just unhealthy for stored items but can be highly damaging. That’s why the following tips are so important, especially if you have valuable art you need to store.

Prepare for Intense Humidity

Along with intense heat, some states, especially Louisiana and Florida, experience high humidity. Knowing this, you must prepare your items well for storage so that they don’t get damaged or destroyed by all the moisture in the air.

Tips for Storing Art in Humid Areas

Humidity can cause almost as many problems for stored artworks as intense heat, causing mold, mildew, warping, peeling, and other damaging processes. Below are a few quick tips to prevent artwork damage due to humidity.

  • Don’t leave artwork against walls or on the floor, as it can absorb moisture.
  • Never store artwork in your basement. (Most are too damp.)
  • Use a dehumidifier. (Yes, running them can be slightly expensive, but it’s worth the extra cost for valuable art.)
  • Rent and store in a climate controlled storage unit if possible.
  • Use silica gel packs to absorb moisture.

Tips for Storing Canvas

Canvas is used as the medium for many paintings due to its durability. However, as a natural material, it can be damaged by extreme heat. Below are a few tips to protect canvas artworks stored in the south.

  • Store canvas artwork vertically rather than flat.
  • Avoid plastic covers that can’t breathe and hold in moisture.
  • Store canvas off the floor so it doesn’t absorb moisture.
  • Store your canvas pieces away from direct sunlight.
  • Check your artwork regularly to ensure they’re not deteriorating or damaged by heat, moisture, pests, etc.

Storing Paintings in the Southern Heat

The tips below for storing paintings are similar to the previous tips, as most paintings are created on canvas. Still, a few of them are specific to paintings and will help you store them well.

  • Wrap your paintings in acid-free paper padding.
  • Never store paintings flat but, instead, vertically.
  • Purchase extra insurance for your stored paintings, just in case.

Storing Pottery and Clay

Person shaping a pot

Preserving the integrity and quality of clay and pottery artworks takes some planning and preparation. The tips below will help you keep your pretty pottery and clay creations in good condition while stored.

  • Store pottery and clay items on sturdy shelves.
  • Choose the driest area in your home to store your pottery. (Avoid the basement.)
  • Never store pottery in direct sunlight, which can damage colored glazes and finishes.

Tips for Storing Art Supplies

Various art supplies laid out on a wooden table

Art supplies are expensive, making storing them nearly as important as storing your artwork correctly. The tips below will help you do that, so the next time you go to create something beautiful, your supplies are ready.

  • Store oil and acrylic paint tubes upright with their caps down.
  • Store your paint brushes with the bristles up to maintain their shape.
  • Don’t leave brushes with the bristles in water, which can badly damage or ruin them.
  • Store spray paints in a well ventilated area far away from any heat source.
  • Fold your easels down and store them in a dry area.
  • Keep your clay in airtight containers so that it doesn’t dry out.
  • Purchase a sculpting toolbox to keep your tools organized and easy to access.
  • Like paint tubes, you should store bottles of ink and liquid media upright so they don’t leak.

Tips for Storing Photographs in the South

Photos and film on a table with a magnifying glass

While some photographs aren’t considered art, many are. If you have photographs, whether as artworks or simply a collection of pictures of your friends and family, storing them well is just as important as anything else.

  • Use 3-ring binders or photo albums to ensure your photos stay flat.
  • Use acid-free paper in your 3-ring binders. (Regular paper has acid that can ruin your photos.)
  • Consider digitizing your photographs as a back up.
  • Never store photographs in your attic. The temperature is too intense in many areas, especially in the south.
  • Don’t store chemicals like cleaning supplies close to your photographs.

Rent a Climate Controlled Storage Unit

You might’ve noticed we mentioned renting a climate controlled storage unit several times in this article. That’s because climate controlled storage units, which aim to control the temperature throughout the year, are perfect for artwork and art supplies.

Store Your Artwork and Supplies with Southern Self Storage

At Southern Self Storage, we’re the experts in storing things in the southern heat. Our climate controlled storage units are perfect for that, especially if you have a collection of artwork you want to give extra protection. Of course, you can rent a storage unit from Southern to store practically anything, including household goods, collections, antiques, and even boat storage. (This is Florida, after all.) Reserve a storage unit from Southern Self Storage online today and begin storing your artwork like a pro!