The biggest dangers for rugs placed into long-term storage are BUGS, FLOODS, and THUGS.
Insect damage, flood or mildew damage, and theft are the most common problems we hear from clients who have placed rugs in a local storage unit or placed in a far corner of a closet or garage. Many times rugs with high appraised or sentimental value are placed in storage to save them for family members, or to save them from a remodel mess, or to protect them from the summer sunlight. You want to make sure you are not actually causing damage by incorporating the wrong storage procedures.
Safe Storage Tips
DO clean and moth-repel rugs before wrapping for storage. You must clean your rugs of food and liquid material because though moths are normally the storage “bad guys” – ANY insect will eat sugars and other food spills, and they will eat the wool fibers that are holding this meal for them too. An insect repellant will make your rug unappetizing to moths but you must wash the rug thoroughly first to ensure it is protected.
Prevent moth and carpet beetle damage through regular rug washing.
Moths! Wool is eaten, but the white cotton foundation fibers remain
DO roll your rugs starting at the bottom end to the top end, fuzzy side inside. To find the bottom end of your rug, you want to “pet” your rug to determine when you are going WITH the nap, and AGAINST the nap. When you run your hand WITH the nap, it will take you to the tassels of the bottom of the rug (where the weaver began weaving your rug). Roll from this end. Folding rugs causes cracking over time, so do not fold rugs being put in storage.
DO roll your SILK rugs with the fuzzy side outside. Wool and cotton rugs have more “give” to them than silk rugs, so when placing silk rugs into storage, roll them with their fuzzy silk side outside. This creates less strain to the foundation fibers over time.
DO wrap your rugs in TYVEK or brown acid-free PAPER. Wool has a moisture content even when it is dry, so changes in heat can cause it to “sweat.” Because of this you should NEVER wrap wool rugs in plastic or you will create a potential mildew problem. Tyvek Paper is best (tear and water resistant).
Properly wrap rugs for storage.
DO elevate your rug packages off of the ground. Many storage facilities are built in lowlands that have a tendency to flood during bad weather, so whether in your home or their location you always want to keep rugs at least six inches off the ground in case flooding occurs.
DO make certain nothing heavy is stacked on top of your rugs. Heavy items can cause damage to the rug’s foundation.
DO acquire insurance to protect your rugs when placed in a storage facility. You also want a photograph and appraisal on file in case you need them.
If you are in the San Diego area and want to place rugs in storage, we offering cleaning and wrapping services, as well as storage space in our own climate-controlled facility. Just give us a call at 858-566-3833 .