Graphic of the blue and white CCAHA logo floating in the sky, looking faded against an orange backdrop of the hot summer sun

Hot and Humid Weather Preservation Tips from CCAHA's Preservation Services Office

Hot and humid summer weather can pose significant risks to cultural and personal collections, as they are susceptible to damage caused by high temperature, moisture, and mold growth. To mitigate these risks, here are five tips for keeping your collections safe in the summer months.

 1) Maintain Stable Temperatures and Relative Humidity. Keep an eye on temperature and relative humidity levels. As much as you can, keep temperatures between 65°F to 70°F (18°C to 21°C) and relative humidity between 30% to 50%. It’s most important to avoid major fluctuations, so consider increasing how often you conduct routine checks of both levels. For a quick refresher or for more information on temperature and relative humidity, check out our Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Dew Point for Collections tech bulletin.

2) Implement Effective Dehumidification. This is especially important in the summer months when drastic differences between high external and low internal temperatures can cause relative humidity to spike indoors. Use dehumidifiers to keep relative humidity low. This will help prevent mold growth and pest infestations, which can cause irreversible damage. For a quick refresher or for more information on managing mold, check out our Managing a Mold Infestation: Guidelines for Disaster Response tech bulletin. For a quick refresher or for more information on managing pest infestations, check our Know Your Bugs! tech bulletin.

3) Provide Adequate Ventilation. Good airflow helps keep humidity low. Use fans or air conditioning systems to circulate air and prevent stagnant conditions that can promote mold growth.

4) Inspect for Water Leaks and Intrusions. Summer weather usually means more rainfall. Regularly inspect storage areas for any signs of leaking and keep an eye on areas with known water retention issues. It’s important to catch water damage early, so establish a routine and address any leaks immediately.

5) Conduct Regular Preservation Assessments. Perform regular checks of your collections to identify any signs of damage or deterioration caused by heat, humidity, or pests. Consider implementing a preservation assessment checklist to ensure comprehensive evaluations and prompt remediation.

No matter the weather, CCAHA offers comprehensive preservation services year-round, as well as a searchable database of preservation resources for collecting institutions and individuals. For specific questions, reach out to Preservation Services Administrator Camilla Dawson at