Should you protect your comic book collection using climate controlled storage?

December 13, 2018 Self Storage 101

Comic books are highly collectible and collecting them has evolved from an enjoyable hobby to a very big business.  If they are in pristine condition, they can be extremely valuable.  Therefore, it is not only important to package and prepare your comic books suitably for storage but to store them in an environment where temperature variations and humidity will not affect them. Your best option for a growing collection is to find a secure, reliable storage facility that features climate-controlled storage.

If you follow our suggestions, you’ll be able to easily maintain the value of your collection.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Don’t touch your comic books without first thoroughly washing and drying your hands. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of smudging, soiling, and oil staining.

Protect Your Comic Books

Place individual comic books in polypropylene bags with acid-free packing boards.  The covers protect the comic books from fingerprints, scuffs, and moisture.  Storing the boards inside the bag will keep the comic book stiff and flat and prevent bending and curling of the paper.  For your most valuable comics, think about using Mylar protector sheets.

Use the Correct Storage Boxes

Comic books should be stored in acid-free storage boxes that are specially designed to fit the size and width of your comics. You can find them in long and short sizes.  The long box can hold up to 300 comics and can weigh more than 50 pounds.  The short box can hold 150 to 200 comics and weights approximately 30 pounds. Comics should be stored standing up in these boxes. Most of these boxes open from the top, but some manufacturers make drawer boxes that fit into a thick outer shell and slide out like a drawer.  Though more expensive, these boxes allow for more efficient stacking.  Corrugated cardboard is the most common material for these boxes, but, as with the Mylar protector sheets mentioned above, plastic boxes should be used for your most valuable collections.

Bind Books that You Don’t Plan on Selling

If you don’t plan on selling your comic books, binding volumes together or placing them in a binder is a feasible alternative.  This will reduce the value of your comics, but will make them easier to read, transport, and store.

Choose the Right Climate Controlled Storage Unit and Store Properly

Storing your comic books safely is the key to preserving your collection.  Comics are especially sensitive to light and humidity.  A climate-controlled unit that will guard your collection from temperature fluctuations and humid conditions is your best option.  Because collections from the 1930s to the 1970s are the most valuable and have been stolen in the past, security features like video monitoring, gated access, and, if possible, individually-alarmed units, add extra layers of protection. Never store boxes directly on the floor.  Use shelving, or at least a platform, to keep them several inches off the floor.  Be careful when stacking boxes.  Normal comic book boxes are not built to hold the weight of more than three boxes stacked on top of them.

Storing your comics requires some extra work and time.  However, whether your collection is valuable or not, some additional time spent maintaining it in the best possible condition will bring rewards in both enjoyment and return on your investment.

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