How to Protect Your Artwork from the Florida Weather

Hot weather and high humidity are any art collector’s biggest enemies. Sadly, these two conditions pretty much sum up Florida’s weather. Certain methods for interior residential design in Boca Raton can help collectors protect artwork and collectives from these conditions.  

If you just purchased a summer house in Boca, or are thinking of renovating your interior design with some paintings, the weather conditions shouldn’t be a detriment. Here’s our small guide on how to protect your valuable artwork from the weather.   


How Do Temperature and Humidity Affect Paintings? 

If you own or collect art, then you must consider the environmental conditions in your house to avoid damage and ensure its conservation. Temperature and humidity cause serious damage to the media and supports of a painting and fasten the deterioration of antique pieces. 

To be precise, the biggest risk lies in big fluctuations of atmospheric conditions. Humidity and temperature affect different elements in a painting, causing the layers to expand and contract. These layers vary in how they swell and shrink, because they soak up moisture at different rates. 

This interplay, where materials react differently and at different rates, can seriously damage both paintings and frames. Because of that, the best way to protect your collection is by ensuring a stable environment.  


Painting Damage Due to Temperature and Humidity 

Depending on a painting’s material, weather conditions can affect them at different degrees: 

  • Canvas are very susceptible to humidity. When the air is humid they tighten, and they loosen when it dries out. These quick changes in the atmospheric conditions make canvas slacken and sag on the stretcher. 
  • Panel paintings, or pictures on wood, tend to expand in moist environments. The wood fibers absorb and retain water, resulting in warping, splitting, and breaking of the wood panel support. The same happens to wooden frames. 
  • Regardless of the surface, painting can crack, blister, flake, or separate from the canvas surface due to humidity. That’s especially true with organic paints like caseins, gouache, or gesso. Similarly, the varnish layer can form cracks. 
  • On worst case scenarios, increased humidity can cause the growth of mold on a canvas. 


5 Ways to Minimize Temperature and Humidity to Your Artworks 

To protect your artworks from deterioration, you need to maintain a stable environment. Here’s what that entails: 

1. Regulate the Temperature 

Controlling the temperature and keeping it stable is key to avoiding damage. The ideal temperature for art storage is between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and 70 to 75 degrees in the summer. 

Notice that the key lies in never exceeding 20-degree shifts. When decorating the interior of an art room, allow for free air circulation and install insulation to protect against extreme temperatures. This will prevent microclimates from developing.  

  • Pro Tip: Temperature shifts aren’t caused only by weather conditions. Social events like parties can cause sudden increases in room temperature. When hosting a party, try to progressively increase the temperature of your art rooms beforehand and ensure that, at the end, there isn’t a sudden cold drop. 


2. Control the Relative Humidity 

Relative humidity is a unit of measure used to establish how dry or wet the air is at any given moment. It compares the amount of water vapor in an air volume to what it could hold when fully saturated at the same temperature. 

Your artwork should be kept in a stable environment, with 40-60% relative humidity and never exceeding the 20% range. Measuring this on your own can be challenging, so you use tools to control the humidity level in your home. 

The air can hold less moisture when the temperature drops, so a humidifier can help you ensure a stable environment during winter. On the other hand, warm air holds moisture, so use an air conditioner in the summer to keep it at bay. 


3. Avoid Hanging Your Paintings Wrong 

Unlike commercial interiors, residencies are more prone to weather shifts that can damage artworks. Avoid hanging your pieces nearby: 

  • Heaters 
  • Air conditioners 
  • Ventilation systems 
  • Heating or cooling ducts 
  • Fireplaces
  • Water pipes 
  • Direct sunlight 
  • Windows

Needless to say, we recommend placing paintings on interior walls and avoiding places prone to temperature shifts, such as kitchens and bathrooms. 


4. Transport Your Art Safely 

When relocating, consult with a company that specializes in art transportation. They are experts in protecting delicate pieces through the throes of moving, and will even offer insurance options in case any piece is damaged on the ride.  

If you move to a location with a significantly different climate, keep the crate containing your paintings sealed for at least two days. This ensures that the artwork can gradually adjust to the new environmental conditions. 


5. Anticipate Hurricanes 

In a place like Boca Raton, you’ll have to anticipate the possibility of hurricanes striking. To protect your artwork in these conditions, place it at high places and away from windows—even if they’re impact resistant.  

If you live in a flood zone, plan ahead of time to find a safe place to store your art in case of an emergency. Furthermore, experts recommend finding an art appraisal company to get a detailed inventory of your pieces and insurance for the ones you already have. 

Additionally, always keep an eye on the strategies Florida museums follow to protect their pieces! 


Interior Residential Design in Boca Raton 

Humidity and high temperatures should not stop you from decorating your Florida residency with unique pieces. There are many methods for protecting and maintaining a piece’s quality through the years, and a qualified interior design company like Interiors by Brown will be able to provide you guidance on the matter. 

If you want to hear more, give us a call! 

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