3 Ways Humidity Can Ruin Your Fine Art

Posted on: 24 February 2023


Fine art has served as a source of inspiration and a status symbol for years. Many people like to collect fine art pieces and display them in their homes. If you are starting to collect original works of art, it is essential that you create the right environment in which your collection can be stored.

The environment can have a tremendous impact on the quality and stability of fine art pieces. Humidity is one environmental element that must be controlled at all times if you want to protect your original works against damage.

Here are three ways humidity can ruin your fine art.

1. Mold and Fungi Growth

Moisture is one of the essential elements required for mold and fungi growth. Since most paintings are made from organic materials, they can become a breeding ground for mold and fungi varieties when the humidity is too high.

Many people are surprised to find that mold growth is almost guaranteed when the relative humidity of a space exceeds 70%. If you live in a particularly humid area, you will need to control the environment in which your art is displayed by using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in the air.

Keeping the relative humidity below 70% should prevent your paintings from succumbing to mold or fungi damage over time.

2. Material Swelling

Canvases, clays, and certain types of paint can easily absorb moisture from the air around them. If you have pieces of art that are made using these materials, humidity can cause the materials to swell.

Swelling puts a lot of pressure on the primary medium used by the artist when creating a piece. Your beloved artwork could begin to crack, crumble, and even slough away from the canvas as a result of swelling.

Only display and store your art in a climate-controlled environment to prevent high humidity from damaging any of the pieces in your collection.

3. Chemical Reactions

Many of the mediums that are used by artists to create their masterpieces have the potential for a chemical reaction when introduced to water.

Excess moisture in the air around a piece of art can trigger a chemical reaction. The metals in certain paints can begin to corrode and cause discoloration. Parchment paper can begin to turn yellow. Glass can become cloudy or start to weep.

Each of these chemical reactions alters the way a piece of art looks. Unfortunately, the effects of many chemical reactions triggered by humidity cannot be reversed. Maintain a climate-controlled environment to protect your art collection against harmful chemical reactions over time.

Now that you know the danger of humidity, consider humidity-controlled storage options near you.