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Physical files will degrade over time if they are not properly taken care of; this can result in the loss of important documentation that may be critical to facilitate business. Knowing the factors that affect paper documents deteriorating will give you the knowledge to better preserve them for future use in the event that you still need a hand copy.
Insects can invade your building through several different ways, whether open doors and windows, rotting food, or tracked in from the outside. While most insects don’t threaten your documents, there are a number of bugs that have an appetite for paper, bugs such as:
- Red flour beetle
How To Prevent Bug Infestations
There is no definitive way to eliminate the threat of insects completely, but maintaining a clean environment and properly sealing all doors and windows will drastically lower the chances of bugs getting in.
Exposure To Intense Heat
In areas where the typical climate is hot throughout the year, paper documents can be susceptible to intense heat. This exposure to high temperatures causes the moisture in the paper to dry out, resulting in your documents becoming brittle to the touch and delicate to handle.
How To Prevent Excessive Heat
Always try to maintain the climate of your building’s interior. The only way to fight the heat and protect your documentation is to properly ventilate your file room and keep it at a cooler temperature. Keeping the room at a lower temperature will allow the paper to retain its moisture for longer.
While humidity is not a direct result of heat, there is the possibility of humidity in hot environments. Too much humidity, which creates moisture, is also bad for paper and is one of the reasons why paper documents deteriorate.
Know How To Store Documents
As mentioned, you need to keep your paper documents in cool and dry environments. Make sure to have the room adequately sealed to prevent any pests from entering and eating away at your paper. There are also a number of benefits to digitally storing your documents for future use if keeping physical copies is too difficult. Wherever you choose to store your files, make sure that they can still be easily accessed to facilitate business operations.