Maintaining an archive and record storage facility is a big responsibility. Unlike most other warehouses, the inventory is irreplaceable. Not only do the items being stored have informational and/or historical value, they usually have personal importance as well.
This article will examine the ins and outs of archival storage with a focus on how the right organization system can make your job easier—and keep materials safer.
Special Considerations for Archive Storage
The primary enemy of a successful archival storage facility is exposure to the elements – including water, moisture, smoke, fire, and pollution. Unusual vibrations can also negatively affect your collection. Here is a rundown of special considerations for your archive and records storage facility.
- Environment. Temperature and humidity changes can lead to chemical changes and the eventual degradation of your material. Your facility should have a climate system to control the environment. In addition, ventilation ducts and filters are a must for keeping dust and mold at a minimum.
- Fire and smoke. In addition to sensitive smoke alarm systems, your facility should have fire-resistant doors and windows. It’s also a good idea to consider fire-resistant construction features as well—such as fire-resistant floors, walls, and ceilings.
- Water. Archival shelving should be situated away from windows and exterior walls. Additionally, storage locations should be well away from all plumbing and heating water pipes or tanks. The lowest shelf should be placed a minimum of 6″ above the floor level.
- Light. Delicate documents can be damaged from exposure to both sunlight and fluorescent light. Consider LED lighting as a safer alternative.
- Emissions. Plastic and wood can release chemicals that can lead to the eventual damage of records. Wood can also encourage the growth of mold and mildew. You can protect your materials by storing them in acid-free boxes on metal shelves. Also, open shelving systems allow for proper air circulation.
- Security. Another factor to consider with archival storage is theft prevention. Consider electronic security systems to guard against unwanted entry.
Benefits of Good Organization and Storage
When you consider all the potential hazards, the advantages of creating a storage system designed especially for archive and record storage is quite compelling. Here is a list of the primary advantages:
- Climate Control to Prevent Damage
- Ultraviolet Light Protection
- More Efficient Use of Available Space
- Technology to Assist With Loading and Unloading
- Theft Protection
- Improved Accessibility
Archival Storage Solutions
Archival storage can include physical documents and books as well as electronic records. These items can come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and weights. Speedrack West can help you design a storage system to accommodate your unique needs.
Selective Pallet Rack
Our selective pallet racking allows you to build the system you need step by stem, from the ground up. Here are the main pallet racking elements from which to choose:
- Teardrop style upright frames in 8′, 10′, 12′, and 16′ heights.
- Standard step beams with 96″, 108″, 120″, and 144″ lengths.
- Wire mesh decking that allows for optimal airflow.
- A wide range of optional safety products.
Mobile Pallet Rack
Mobile pallet racking systems are installed on mobile bases so that you are able to expand your storage capabilities as the need arises.
In addition to creating storage space, customized mobile systems help boost productivity and increase storage safety in a cost-effective way. State-of-the-art mobile systems provide smooth operation speeds, low vibration, and controlled deceleration.
If you already have a static pallet racking system, it can be transformed it into a mobile system by attaching our mobile rack wheels.
Archive boxes are an essential tool for keeping many documents and records safe from the environment. However, some materials can be safely stored and easily accessed in stackable plastic bins. A Speedrack West consultant can help determine what is the best choice for your inventory.
Speak With An Expert
There are many factors to consider when storing archives or records, and switching to a new system can be more than a little overwhelming. We understand that setting up a new storage system will take time and money to accomplish.
However, it’s crucial to consider what you may lose by not storing your materials according to efficient and safe modern standards. Are you willing to take that risk?
At Speedrack West, our storage experts will work with you to design a system that meets your unique needs and fits your budget. Depending on the shelving type you choose, the ceiling height, or the floor weight capacity—we can help you maximize your storage potential!