There are many enemies that can deteriorate or damage your old photos and negatives. This includes sunlight, molds, glues, moisture, high temperatures and chemicals in the air like cigarette smoke and smog. To avoid future damage it is best to have them professional scanned and restored, then use a photographic archival storage folder to store them properly.
Before using a photo restoration service to scan and restore your photos you will want to carefully remove them from any frames and picture books. Make sure and use a pair of latex gloves to protect the photos from getting any oils from your hands on them. Now you can handle the photos and remove any staples, tape or paper clips that may be attached. When handling the photos make sure and hold them by the edge of the photo so they do not get bent. It is also a good idea to clean any dirt or lint off the photos by using an anti static cloth and a compressed can of air. Your photos should now be ready to be scanned and restored. You can attempt this yourself or look for a company online that specializes in photo restoration.
After your photos are done being scanned it is best to store them back in archival boxes in a dark area where the ambient temperature remains around 68 degrees and has a 35 – 50 percent relative humidity. Never store your archival boxes in an attic, garage or basement where temperatures can get up over 70 degrees. You also want to keep your boxes off the ground to avoid any water damage that could occur from a flood or water leak.