Protecting Valuables from Environmental Damage

Protecting Valuables from Environmental Damage

Protecting Valuables from Environmental Damage

Keeping Your Valuables Safe by Monitoring and Maintaining Proper Environmental Conditions.

Perhaps you’ve spent good money on musical instruments, firearms, an art collection, fine wines, baseball cards, and comic books, or maybe you’re into cigars. Maybe you keep important documents in your home, or enjoy photo albums and scrapbooking. And what about that classic car or motorcycle lovingly tucked away in your garage?

Whatever your passion, it makes sense to protect your investments. A big part of preserving valuables and collectibles is storing them in a safe environment and striving to maintain conditions that are stable. That means keeping close tabs on conditions like temperature and humidity that can have a negative impact on sensitive items. And if your valuables stay in a storage area like a basement, attic, or garage, it also helps to strategically install leak detectors. That can help provide warning in time to move things to safety in the event of flooding or water leaks.

Document Preservation, Photo Albums, Baseball Card Storage, and Comic Book Storage


Paper and photographs can be damaged by improper storage. Light, moisture, and temperature all can deteriorate your comic book collection, trading cards, basketball cards, memories, and important legal certificates. Proper document preservation is needed.


Photos and paper items thrive in a cool, dry place. Some suggest keeping these types of valuables in an environment that is around 40% relative humidity and a temperature between 50°F and 65°F. Use a thermostat, humidifier, or dehumidifier to control the environment. The biggest enemy is extreme conditions, and light (particularly sunlight or fluorescent lights). Avoid using the attic for storage unless it’s climate-controlled. If storing in the basement, do not set boxes directly on the concrete as this can leach away moisture, as well as conduct cold. To help protect items from flood damage, store everything at least a foot or two off the ground. If storing on a lower floor of your home, avoid keeping items directly below potential sources of leaks. Examples include a bathroom, washer/dryer, or dishwasher. For best results, continually monitor humidity, temperate, and potential leaks.

AcuRite HD Multi-Sensor Weather Station with My AcuRite

AcuRite Solutions & Tips

  • Monitor Storage Conditions: Place an AcuRite Monitor in the area(s) where valuables are stored to measure ambient room conditions and ensure safe, controlled temperature and humidity.
  • Monitor for leaks: Position a Water Leak Detector in a place where leaks or flooding may occur.
  • Use a Home Environment Display for convenient viewing of conditions measured by Monitors and Sensors in multiple rooms around your home.
    • Set alarms to alert you of undesirable conditions. These can include:
      • Undesirably low or high temperatures
      • Undesirably high or low humidity
      • Presence of water leaks or flooding

There are many great resources on keeping valuables safe. Here are a few options we recommend:

  • Wine Spectator offers wine storage basics, including wine storage temperature
  • Cigar World provides some basics on caring for cigars, such as using a humidor hygrometer in a cigar humidor
  • Hagerty Classic Vehicle Insurance offers these steps for proper car and motorcycle storage, including winterization and long-term storage
  • has 10 steps for winterizing and long-term storing a motorcycle
  • Premiere Guitar offers these tips on guitar storage and using a guitar humidifier
February 24, 2017
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