How Personal Property Appraisals and Prevention Safeguard Investments During Cold Winter Weather

We often write about personal property appraisals and insurance, so we thought it would be a great time to talk about protection and preservation, especially to avoid financial losses during cold winter weather.

How Do You Prepare for Cold Snaps?

Anytime there is a dip in the weather and cold temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, there is an increased risk of plumbing pipes freezing and bursting, heating failure, and flooding. For these reasons, you need to prepare for cold snaps by having heating technicians inspect the furnace or the fireplace, checking insulation, cleaning the gutters to avoid home or business flooding, and ensuring pipes are protected.

As personal property is extremely susceptible to cold weather, items often require specialized repairs and restoration. Any time expensive possessions are stored on-site, you need to ensure your insurance and appraisals are up to date in case damage occurs. Markets can change in an instant, so having old appraisals can mean the difference between being able to buy an equal replacement or losing tens of thousands.

What Causes Antique & Rare Book Damage?

Personal property can be damaged from natural causes such as sunlight, humidity, mold, contaminants, insects, and improper handling. Losses can also occur slowly or immediately after damage.

What To Do After Having Personal Property Appraisals

After receiving personal property appraisals, we advise clients to take maintenance and storage measures to preserve the property, whether they own antiques or have a rare book collection.

Personal Property Storage and Preservation Tips

  • Storage: Immediately after receiving personal property appraisals, store items in areas that are free of humidity and heat, especially basements, attics, and garages to avoid damage. You will also want to place any storage shelving in dimly lit areas as direct sunlight will cause irreparable damage. For rare and expensive collectibles, we recommend using archival storage boxes to prevent financial losses.
  • Rare Book Storage: Collectors differ in that some prefer to store based on a type while others choose sizing. We recommend placing large books horizontally to protect covers and page binding while placing small and mid-size books vertically, which will help support them as they sit together on shelves. Books and antiques that are insured should be preserved inside protective coverings and casings.
  • Proper Handling: From time to time, you’ll want to examine your antiques and books, even the rare ones. We highly advise our clients to carefully handle any type of valuable to avoid any damage or loss.

What to do if Personal Property is Damaged During Cold Snaps

Don’t panic. Our experts are just one call away, and we can immediately respond with a solution. You should never try to make repairs yourself as it could lead to additional damages. Even if an antique or book damage is minor, making at-home repairs can ultimately cause items to be worthless. We also advise our customers to place antiques and books in protective boxes lying flat until proper restoration can be done.

To learn more about rare book or antique appraisals by Manzi or set up an appointment, please call our office at 617-948-2577 or visit us on Facebook at