Humidity is Coming for Your Antiques!

Humidity is Coming for Your Antiques!

Let’s state the obvious: Bermuda gets very humid, and humidity does not partner well with antique furniture.

Antique furniture has a higher moisture content than contemporary furniture primarily because previous wood drying techniques are far less effective when compared to modern treatments. This fact means that antique wood is much more susceptible to fluctuations in humidity levels.

Historical homes in Bermuda tend to witness increased internal humidity levels owing to substandard insulation, however modern buildings are often overly dry due to central air conditioning. This means that regardless of the humidity condition in your home, there are measures you need to consider to ensure that you are not bringing us your antiques to restore before necessary.

Many of the clients we advise have similar circumstances when challenged by antique furniture maintenance and restoration. Most of them are either collectors and/or inheritors of antiques, and are looking for the path of least resistance (i.e. expense!) without compromising their beautiful pieces. Here are some of the tips we give them; hopefully they are also useful to you.

1. Keep antique furniture away from direct sources of warm or cool air, and potential water leaks;

2. For older homes, use a dehumidifier in the room where most of your antiques are displayed, or have multiple units for multiple rooms;

3. For newer homes, a humidifier should be considered if you have very dry internal air conditions;

4. Keep antique furniture away from direct sunlight; and

5.  Consider purchasing a humidity-reading device. We suggest an ideal room humidity level between 50-60%.