Today we are mostly dependent on digital gadgets for every aspect of our lives. Currently, even for protecting our documents we tend to rely on the digital world.
In the past all the documents were written on papers; people used to write letters for communicating, but now in this modern world, the scenario has changed.
The use of papers is decreasing day by day. Although digital documents are widely used, paper documents are still being used and will always have a demand.
People in the developing countries can not trust the digital forms more than papers because to some extent digital copies can also be manipulated. At least, in case of papers, you can lock them inside a safe and keep them away from whoever wishes to get their hands on them.
We are aware of the fact that if the documents are not stored and protected nicely, then the documents cannot be protected for an extended period.
For keeping the asset of people safe, it is a must to know the ways of protecting and preserving them.
Without stretching it further, let me start on how you can protect your paper documents and increase its longevity.
Correct Ways Of Handling Papers
Even today in this digital world the importance of the paper is inevitable. But the papers are very delicate that can be destroyed easily if handling is not done correctly like it is not wise working with papers and having food at the same time. So you need to be careful and follow some basic steps while handling papers.
- While using papers, the hands and the working area should be clean otherwise any mess or the dirt can destroy the papers as well as the information in it.
- The food and drinks are required to be kept away.
- While marking or highlighting a line or a word, pencils are to be used instead of a pen or ink if the paper is to be stored for an extended period.
- The papers with essential documents should be kept unfolded in a waterproof file.
The Ways Of Protecting Paper Documents
All sorts of papers are not appropriate for storing. The papers that contain important documents like the photocopies of our passports or the copy of a driving license are not required to be stored since we can make a copy of our passports or driving license anytime.
But some copies of these documents, at times, contain important seal or signature that is valuable to us. This is when storing documents become important. Some ways of protecting these paper documents are:
The simplest and the first way that comes to our mind for protecting papers is to laminate the paper.
Like if you need a to use a map frequently while traveling then laminate the map and then put it inside your bag. You will only take it out a few times anyway.
The laminating will keep your map as well as other papers protected against water, dust, different chemicals, and to some extent, from food.
Acrylic spray or lacquer spray is a type of spray that can protect your papers from water, i.e., these sprays are waterproof. These are clear sprays, if spread, form a layer of coating on the paper that can protect the paper as well as the writings or drawings in it.
The process of spraying is straightforward. Naturally, you need to take the spray and spray it over the documented paper until both the sides of the paper are coated. Then, you’ll have to wait for a while, until it dries.
For better waterproofing, two or more coats can be given above the first as per your requirement.
A Mixture Of Alum, Soap, And Beeswax
Alum powder is soluble in water and forms a solution. If this solution is heated, it becomes a great option for making the papers waterproof.
At first, the alum powder ( you can get it in the spice section of grocery shops) and a soap made of natural oil (Castile soap) is to be added in a pan of water. You will then have to heat it while stirring continuously.
After a while, the soap and the powder will form a homogenous mixture. Now, beeswax needs to be added to the pan and dissolved with the mixture. Once the saturated mixture of alum, soap, and beeswax is formed dip the paper that you want to protect in the mix and dry it off.
You need to be careful while dipping the paper. The paper should not be kept in the hot mixture for a long time, just leave the paper in the mix until both the sides become coated.
Though the method takes a long time and lot of effort than the above two, this is completely worth it, and through this coating, your paper can protect your information for a longer period.
Though the correct way of handling paper is keeping it unfolded, it is not always possible to keep the paper flat. Sometimes you need to keep it folded. The effort of coating your paper through the above process will go to vain if you fold the paper.
Aquaseal, a readymade product that you can get in the market and is used only for coating the paper, is one of the best options for protecting your paper and with this, you can even fold your paper after coating it.
But as usual, everything comes with a drawback. This process is applicable only for professionally printed materials. If your paper has been written with inks, then the ink will be washed out if you use this method.
The Correct Way Of Storing
Smart storing is required for protecting important documents. The papers that are important need to be kept in non-corrosive boxes. You can use polyethylene, acid-free cardboard boxes for their storage.
Between the documented papers you can use acid-free, white paper as a divider. This will increase the longevity of your documents.
Papers are very delicate and can be torn very easily. The methods mentioned above will help you to protect your papers as well as your documents.
Still, many people rely on papers than the digital world. The methods mentioned above will protect their assets and will give longevity to them.
It is straightforward and simple to coat your papers, but always you need to keep in mind that still after coating you need to be careful with your papers for keeping your documents safe.