Certain environmental conditions can, over the years, cause serious damage,
even to works which have been properly framed. They are:
LIGHT: Sunlight, both direct and indirect, and fluorescent lighting are rich in ultraviolet rays and are, therefore, harmful to paper as well as to certain inks and colors. Rooms where works are to be hung should have weak daylight and must be illuminated with incandescent lighting, which is relatively harmless. Use of ultraviolet filtering glass will reduce light damage, but sunlight and fluorescent illumination must still be avoided. If your works are hung in strong sunlight, it will fade.
HEAT: Do not hang works near radiators or other sources of heat or on walls which contain flues.
HUMIDITY: Relative humidity above 70% encourages mildew or ”foxing” on paper. If the humidity in your area exceeds 70% for periods of the year, dehumidify or air condition rooms where works of art are hanging. Avoid hanging art on damp walls Very dry conditions, below 30% relative humidity, may encourage brittleness, and should be avoided.
POLLUTION: A frame properly sealed will greatly reduce exposure to polluted atmosphere as will as air conditioning the room in which the objects are hung.
It is advisable to take your works on paper down off the wall about every three years, to check its condition. This gives the interior a chance to dry out. Check behind the mats for discolorations and for light and insect damage. If the image has been discolored where the mat meets the art, it is a sign the non-archival material has been used in its framing and it should be reframed soon with acid-free archival mats and backing. Your piece of art is an investment, as well as having sentimental value. Therefore, it should be cared for properly.