It is no secret that paper is not necessarily made to last. In fact, it is in part actually made to decompose in order to limit the amount of environmental damage it does in the long run. Paper has a rich history, and was once made out of hardier materials, like cotton, linen, and other kinds of cloth or sturdy plant matter; however, by now, such materials are also equally prone to damage and decay. Therefore, your books made out of this fragile paper may easily decompose when put into the usually less than perfect conditions usually found when stored. Believe it or not, there are some relatively basic ways to avoid such devastation to your beloved books that might occur during storage at a place like All American Self Storage.
Preventing Water Damage
You are probably not particularly fond of being freezing cold, dripping wet, or blazing hot, right? Neither are your books! Environmental damage is the main reason books decompose, but it is also one of the easiest forms of damage to prevent.
Books, and paper in general, are very prone to water damage. Even a slight bit of dampness makes it that much easier, and likely, for your books to grow mold, mildew, or other such things that cause decomposition. So much so that, if not dried almost instantly, massive damage may become nearly impossible to avoid. As such, no matter how dry or climate controlled you think your storage is, make sure you put your books in something at least relatively waterproof.
Finding a waterproof container is relatively easy as well. In fact, a large portion of people simply use plastic bags which you can likely find at your local grocery store. You can also look into larger, more durable containers like waterproof bins or cabinets.
Be sure to check your books prior to storing them for mold or dampness that may be present. If you have a book that is hosting mold prior to storage where it will be in close contact with other books, it will be far easier for that mold to transfer. If you find one such book, be sure to deal with it accordingly by isolating it. Depending on the book and its condition, you may even want to consider getting rid of it.
Preventing Temperature Damage
Light and temperature are also common environmental factors that may damage your books. Overexposure to light can be particularly harmful to the ink in books and eventually causes ink to fade. Temperature can have a similar effect, it has even been known to cause books to undergo a chemical reaction known as phase transition. Books are especially prone to phase transition if they are composed of organic materials, but all books are at least somewhat prone to it. Therefore, for optimum prevention of environmental damage, be certain to store your books in a dry, temperate place, with limited light exposure. A climate controlled storage unit is optimal for book storage, as your books won't be exposed to light, and will be stored in climate that isn't subjected to huge temperature swings.
Preventing Pest Damage
There are a number of other problems that may arise when storing books. In particular: pests. At one time, harmful toxins and pesticides were used to prevent and get rid of pests such as insects, rodents, or lizards from book collections. In the few years, however, many have turned to simple sanitation and care instead as it is potentially far less destructive to both the books, and the environment.
Ensure that the storage unit you pick for your books is tightly sealed to prevent any pests from entering. Keep an eye out for mouse and rat droppings that are indicative of a pest problem. You should always store your books in a separate container within your storage unit, preferably one that pests cannot chew through like cardboard, to fully guard against pest damage.
Employ Common Sense
One of the easiest steps to take to protect your books is to use common sense. Many people are simply lazy and throw their books carelessly into a storage don't realize that rough treatment and lack of foresight will cause damage. Most commonly, people find their books bent and contorted which is easy to prevent by neatly packing books before they are put into storage. There are, however, other types of damage which are much less thought of.