How to Protect Collectibles From the Elements

Dec 6, 2022

Natural disasters don't have to be as dramatic as earthquakes or hurricanes. Even severe seasonal weather can do its share of damage, especially when it comes to valuable collections or delicate antiques. 

Of course, your stamp collection is unlikely to be top of mind if there's a major disaster. We recommend protecting against potential damage or loss before disaster strikes, so if the time comes, you have one less thing to worry about.

1. Store Items Properly

How you store your items will depend significantly on the materials they're made of. Wood furniture is easily damaged by moisture and humidity, while comics and paper ephemera suffer from prolonged contact with the air. You'll want to do some research into the exact steps you'll need to take depending on what you collect, but here are a few general tips:

  • Clean: All valuables, from coins to fine art, will benefit from being kept clean. For many objects, this may mean keeping them safe from dust or fingerprints. Other pieces could benefit from a careful cleaning (check out our Pinterest Board for some tips to get you started).
  • Minimize Handling: If you must handle your collection, try to minimize contact with your hands as much as possible. The natural oils on your hands can cause a lot of damage. You might want to invest in gloves for when you need to touch an item.
  • Temperature Control: Fluctuations in temperature or humidity are bad news for collectibles of all kinds. Wood can be especially susceptible to these changes. Think of how your front door swells on a humid summer day! High humidity can also contribute to mold growth on paper or the development of rust on metal. If you can't store your valuables in a temperature and humidty controlled environment, a hygrometer can be a helpful tool.
  • Avoid Direct Light: Whether it's natural daylight or just the lights in your home, exposure to direct light can harm your collectibels. To help mitigate the damage, add a UV-blocking film to your windows.

2. Catalog Your Collection

In addition to physically safeguarding your collectibles, you'll also want to create a thorough record of what you have. Taking the time to catalog your collection can help you to become more familiar with each piece, ensure everything is in top condition, and even help determine what your next buy will be.

Chattic is an ideal tool for creating a catalog of your items. Get started by filling in our bulk upload template, which will enable you to include most of the information you'll want to have. You can include up to five pictures for each item, so be sure to include any identifying marks, imperfections, or other features that make your item special. Once you've compiled the info and images, Chattic's uploader takes care of the rest. You'll have an easily searchable, visual database of your collection that you can quickly add to or update at any time.

3. Get Your Valuables Insured

Hopefully, you'll never experience even a partial loss of your beloved collection. However, in the unfortunate event that all or part of it is damaged, having insurance can be helpful. While it may be impossible to truly replace a treasured item, having some cash available to start rebuilding can take some of the sting out of the loss.

Even if you have homeowners' or renters' insurance, these policies may not cover some of your more valuable possessions. While insurance isn't the most exciting topic, it's crucial to being a responsible collector. The good news is, if you've taken teh time to catalog and upload your collection to Chattic, you're only a click away from insuring your antiques and collectibles. If you're careful with how you store your items, you might save some money on your premium.

Anything from a full-blown natural disaster to a leaky roof can compromise the well-being of your collection. While that thought is undoubtedly anxiety-inducing, there is a lot you can do to prevent harm or offset the damages if something does happen.

Dec 6, 2022

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