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  1. #1
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    Default Humidity problems with trades, please help

    Hi everybody. I just registered here. I never really called myself a comic collector. I was always hesitant to get them because I didn't want to jump in the middle of story, you know? But over the years, I collected trade paperbacks of various things I heard were good/I liked, and 98% of my stuff is in trades. It's just easier for me.

    Anyway, as of the last few months, maybe.... August or September perhaps, I started checking into DC's Rebirth, and it was then that I noticed the books I was getting were a bit wavy. Lifted areas in the pages, stuff like that. Realized it was humidity damage. I hate wet paper, and just didn't like them being like that, so I sent them back. Then I had an awful time getting a flat copies of several books in the mail. Finally, I suceeded, and then Hurricane Irma struck.

    We lost power for over a week. And while the power was out, I realized that my books, comic trades and regular books, were all humid, ranging from slightly wavy to really wavy. It was seriously upsetting.

    I thought I'd have to replace all the trades, and by that point, that's a number somewhere between 60 and 100. Once the power came back on, I noticed that most of my books, even the comics, seemed to go back to normal, though some of them still seemed a little wavy (and I was SURE some of them hadn't been like that before). But for most of the books, it was something I could accept.

    But humidity is still a regular weather issue around here, and I'm actually still replacing some books that just bug me. And as of the last week or so, I've had to request returns on not one, but TWO copies of a totally new trade because there was a wave to the pages at the bottom edge (that's where I usually look).

    Sorry for the long story, but what I'm asking is... does this stuff really come out naturally? Before Irma, I tried using weights like one person suggested. I put about 11 pounds of weight on three trades and left it on for a little more than a week. But the waves still seemed to come back after a few hours. I was convinced that once humidity gets into the paperstock used in trades these days, it never comes out.


    So, does it come out on it's own? Can somebody tell me their own experiences with trade paperbacks? A good number of the books I have are basically stick straight. Is it normal for books to have a wave in them on arrival?

    I'm incredibly frustrated and dejected by it all, and I basically have to order online because I'm not mobile enough to regularly go to stores. Can somebody please help me understand how humidity and trades works? Please?

  2. #2
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    Glossy paper trades almost always go wavy in my house at first than go flat after a while. They can be perfectly flat when I get them home than later in the day be wavy. Over time they flatten out again. I havent had anything stay permanently wavy. This happens especially in warmer months than in winter not as much. Never really a problem long term. Sometimes I run a dehumidifier.

  3. #3
    All-New Member ZenAmako's Avatar
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    I put a bunch of wavy books in the trunk of my car on a warm day one time, and after a few hours they all flattened out.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblingMan View Post
    Glossy paper trades almost always go wavy in my house at first than go flat after a while. They can be perfectly flat when I get them home than later in the day be wavy. Over time they flatten out again. I havent had anything stay permanently wavy. This happens especially in warmer months than in winter not as much. Never really a problem long term. Sometimes I run a dehumidifier.
    Really? You think it will totally go away on its own? Or reasonably enough? I'm sorry that the original post is such a mess. It was just so frustrating when I discovered it, and Irma was a miserable nightmare, so I guess I'm a little emotionally raw about the whole thing. I actually tried cataloging all the trades I'd have to replace during the blackout, but I got so angry and upset that I couldn't keep it up.

    Though... some of my books still have a wavy look to their pages that I don't think totally went away. Maybe they came that way. But I am pretty tired of worrying about it and dealing with it. I'm just worried in part that some of this stuff won't come out at all, and I'll be stuck doing constant returns, which aren't easy for me. I'd just like to get these things in the mail, enjoy them, and set them on a shelf where they belong.

    Funny enough, I just got a new trade in the mail like ten-fifteen minutes ago, and it's REALLY wavy on the top and bottom edges. It's been pretty rainy today and last night too, and the envelope wasn't sealed all the way. If you think it might come out, I'll leave it for a while before I go for a return. Maybe I'll get lucky for once.

    I actually did get a mini dehumidifier for one room, since the full size one was a bit expensive. It's constantly running, for whatever good that does. And thank you for answering me. I really do appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenAmako View Post
    I put a bunch of wavy books in the trunk of my car on a warm day one time, and after a few hours they all flattened out.
    So some strong heat might help too? I'll keep that in mind, thank you.

    One other thing I worry about is what happens if another hurricane hits around here. The vast majority of my books (comic trades or just plain books) are on some long bookshelves in a single room. The shelves are attached to walls.

    If the power and AC gets knocked out again, I was thinking that maybe some plastic sheets could be taped over the shelves, maybe to act as a barrier against the air while the power is out. Do you think that might work? Even if comics flatten out again, and even if most of mine did show signs of improvement once the power returned, I still worry that long term exposure to the humid air like that will leave some lasting damage. I'd like to be prepared for next time if it unfortunately happens.

    What do you think?

  5. #5
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    Well I couldn’t speak 100% to your situation. Long term high humidity exposure might permanently make them wavy. I find some DC Omnibus’ always have a very slight waviness to them and they come this way. I have seen books in ventilated book stores appear very rippled so easy to imagine them coming this way.When I first started collecting hardcovers, I also got annoyed when books started going wavy but it didn’t last and fluctuates based on time of season. Another thing I would recommend is don’t store books on an outer wall if you can. The inside of exterior walls will have more moisture. The books will suck that moisture in. You can get a cheap device to monitor moisture levels if you want to take it to the next level. A hygrometer I think.
    Last edited by RamblingMan; 11-13-2017 at 02:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblingMan View Post
    Well I couldn’t speak 100% to your situation. Long term high humidity exposure might permanently make them wavy. I find some DC Omnibus’ always have a very slight waviness to them and they come this way. I have seen books in ventilated book stores appear very rippled so easy to imagine them coming this way.When I first started collecting hardcovers, I also got annoyed when books started going wavy but it didn’t last and fluctuates based on time of season. Another thing I would recommend is don’t store books on an outer wall if you can. The inside of exterior walls will have more moisture. The books will suck that moisture in. You can get a cheap device to monitor moisture levels if you want to take it to the next level. A hygrometer I think.
    Exterior walls huh? Unfortunately, that's unavoidable for the main room I keep my books in. Like I said, the shelves were screwed into the walls. Really nice actually. But they're shaped like this: [ and most of the shelves are against exterior walls. I don't have another space like it. Though in my case, our house is older and I think the walls are made differently, so maybe that makes a different for moisture.

    But do you think a plastic sheet barrier over the shelves would help in case of a long blackout? We actually did that once when the room was retiled to keep off silt, and that seemed to work great. Or what about plastic containers? Would those keep out the air?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TricksterFox View Post
    Exterior walls huh? Unfortunately, that's unavoidable for the main room I keep my books in. Like I said, the shelves were screwed into the walls. Really nice actually. But they're shaped like this: [ and most of the shelves are against exterior walls. I don't have another space like it. Though in my case, our house is older and I think the walls are made differently, so maybe that makes a different for moisture.

    But do you think a plastic sheet barrier over the shelves would help in case of a long blackout? We actually did that once when the room was retiled to keep off silt, and that seemed to work great. Or what about plastic containers? Would those keep out the air?
    I would not seal a bookcase/shelf in plastic. That will keep moisture in especially with it against the outside walls.
    I don't have a good solution for long term storage in the situation of a power outage and high humidity levels. I can't imagine short term outages damaging your books long term unless you had an unusually high level of humidity. If I had my books stored in the basement or other area which really relied on power for ventilation/heat etc, I would probably move these books in the event of a long power outage. For your shelves, I would at least not push the book directly against the wall. Other than that keep them out of direct sunlight.

    My first love is guitars and is where I've learned hard lessons for where to store items. Basements even when insulated/heated etc aren't great for storing anything you don't want to get damaged long term from moisture.
    Last edited by RamblingMan; 11-15-2017 at 09:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member Javasaurus's Avatar
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    In the case of an extended blackout, it's a pretty tall order to guard against the inevitable creep of humidity. Unless you have a generator and dehumidifier handy, I'm not sure it's even possible. After hurricane Harvey, my wife and I bought some Damp-Rid hanging packs to strategically place in small spaces to protect some of our belongings from humidity. Plastic containers with Damp-Rid packed inside along with the books might be worth investigating.
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