Spring has sprung. We made it through winter, but beware! Spring rain comes with a whole set of preservation dangers. Fortunately, there are a few easy changes you can make to keep your collections at home safe from water damage. The most important have to do with selecting a storage location in your home. Choosing the right spot for your personal collections or memorabilia can prevent a disaster.

When picking a spot to store materials, don’t choose directly on the floor, against an outside wall, or close to a window. Leaving precious items on the ground leaves them vulnerable to any flooding or spills. Outside walls and windows can go through extreme temperature fluctuations and can transfer moisture. The goal is to find the most temperature stable, dry environment in your home. This knocks out most attics and basements.

The safest storage location in your home is on a shelf in an interior closet. Interior closets go through very little temperature changes compared to other locations in a house, and have minimal flooding risk.

For more information, check out these resources online:

North East Document Conservation Center article on Emergency Management

The National Archives guide to the Emergency Salvage of Flood Damaged Family Papers

-Sara Bennett

Archives Librarian