Paper documents are subject to deterioration, so some care must be taken when storing them. Whether storing prints, posters, legal or taxation documents, letters, certificates of newspaper clippings the same rules apply. While you cannot stop deterioration, with careful handling practices and the right storage conditions, you can certainly greatly reduce the rate of deterioration.
For many businesses office space is very limited, so it is a common practice to store documents off-site at a storage facility. The storage services offered by Fort Knox Australia are excellent for business owners as they offer flexible monthly storage options along with highly accessible and secure storage spaces. Another advantage with Fort Knox is that you can easily estimate storage space required for documents with their online tools.
There are a number of things to consider when planning the storage of valuable documents.
There are a number of reasons why paper may deteriorate over time. Fading and paper discolouration can occur due to exposure to light or ultraviolet rays, so be sure to store documents in a dark place. Windows should be covered and lighting should only be used as necessary. Mould is another major factor in the deterioration or documents. It is imperative to make sure documents are stored in a dry, non-humid atmosphere.
Other factors causing deterioration are careless handling – things like tears, dents and punctures. Paper can also become brittle along fold lines. Attack by pests or rodents are another common cause of wear and tear, so steps should be taken to deter pest activity.
Tips for Correct Handling
When handling valuable documents you should always exercise the utmost care. Clean hands before handling and/or wear surgical gloves. Be sure not to allow any drinks or foodstuff near the documents.
It is a good idea to place papers on a support structure when carrying them, something like a rigid piece of cardboard is perfect. Where necessary place protective archival tissue paper between sheets to prevent ink or glue transferring across pages.
Valuable documents are best stored at low temperatures, between 18 to 20 degrees Celsius is perfect. Humidity should be kept between 45 to 50 per cent. If these conditions can be maintained the natural deterioration of the documents will be greatly modified. It is vital to remember that air-conditioning is usually turned off outside of office hours.
Cardboard corrugated boxes are excellent for storing documents as they provide a buffer effect against fluctuating heat and humidity. Boxes should be clearly marked and contents should be listed in detail to avoid unnecessary handling.
Boxes, folders, document wallets and paper card will protect paper items from light and dust and also inhibit damage from heat and humidity.
Do not eat or drink in storage areas and keep surfaces clean. Make regular checks for insect activity and consider baiting to deter this.
With a little care your valuable documents can be stored safely and be protected from deterioration and other damage.