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Basic Points for Heirloom Care


Have a few older items that you would like to protect? These are the main factors to watch out for.

You may have inherited a few older treasures that you wish to preserve, such as quilts and lace items, or the family Bible. Each type of item should be cared for in a different way, which we'll talking about in other articles in this section.

There are few basic things you can do to halt the destruction process or prevent new damage. This is simply an overview of factors that apply to most heirlooms.

There are several factors that, if not controlled, are guaranteed to contribute to the damage caused by time.

Handling. Each time an item is touched, a little body oil is left behind. Over time, this will cause staining. Dents and nicks come naturally with handling, too, so it is best to keep things out of the reach of youngsters or enthusiastic visitors. If you are displaying some of your favorite older items, be sure to always wash your hands before picking it up.

Moisture and temperature. Extremes apply in both these categories. Too much moisture or too little can harm an object. Drastic temperature swings are also detrimental. A steady temp and right control of moisture may not be possible, however. In many cases, it's the change from one end of the scale to the other that brings about the worst deterioration.

Light. Exposure will surely damage many items over time. If you want to make a display, put the items behind UV approved glass.

Bugs and Mold. Insects and other critters are often attracted to those musty spaces that contain your treasures. May a regular inspection of special books and other goods to make sure they are safe from harm. Mold can establish itself with little provocation. Again, professionals can help you with the best way to protect against these elements.

Remember, these are just the basics. If you have something that is valuable, you should consult a professional skilled in preserving that particular object.

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