You store-room might be always locked and the only key tied on a string around your neck. But there are many threats lurking about. See the list below to make sure your important papers are protected.
Moisture. The single largest threat to paper documents. Most basements and warehouses are stuffed full of documents, then locked and forgotten. Moisture has a way of seeping in. I still have childhood memories of when my dad gave me a ball of old currency notes destroyed by moisture – I had a great time burning all that useless cash.
Pests. Before you know it, rats and termites will make their way into your precious stack of files. Nothing a rat loves more than the lease deed to that villa you bought in Tuscany last year.
Documents get lost. No matter how awesome a filing system you have devised, you will eventually get lazy and say “I will leave this share-certificate on this table for today, and I will file it tomorrow.” But Tomorrow Never Comes. This apathy results in a mess of files and documents that prevents you from finding documents when you need them.
Paper Ages. With age paper becomes brittle and damage prone. If not handled very gingerly, old documents can easily tear or disintegrate. Imagine what will happen to your 99-year lease deed after 90 years have passed.
No Backup! This is the most obvious threat, but often overlooked. What happens if any of the above events take place? How do you recover? Paper is usually not backed up in any manner.
What to do?
Keep Documents & Files away from walls and floors. Walls and floors are where termites and rats usually are found. If there is at-least 1 foot between the walls and your files, the termites will stay away. Also you will have space to move around and spray pest-control medicines. Crucial to keep documents away from the ground for the same reasons. Its easier to clean the floor if the documents are on a raised platform or shelf. Plus moisture usually seeps in from walls and floors.
Ventilation & Desiccation. Make sure your store room has adequate ventilation and use some kind of desiccant which you replace at least once a month. This will ensure that moisture does not affect documents badly. Depending on where you live and how much humidity there is in your city, you may need more advanced moisture control methods like air-conditioning (or at least you can store your more critical documents in air-conditioned offices or rooms).
Pest Control & Clean Regularly. Clean your document stores regularly. Deploy rat-traps and spray anti-termite medicine regularly. Most major cities have pest control agencies who can do this for your on a regular basis. We recommend spraying for termites at least once in three months.
Use EisenVault’s Document Management System. We can help you scan all your important documents, and store digital copies in our state-of-the-art cloud based document management system. You can search for and access any document on demand. All documents are backed up every day so that your documents are not lost even in the case of a disaster. Your electronic documents are always good as new and always at your fingertips.
What not to do?
Do Not Laminate Important Paper. Banks, courts, and other such institutions have started rejecting laminated papers such as lease deeds, statements etc. The reason being that it is difficult to verify the authenticity of laminated documents.
Do Not Store Photocopies as Backups. Photocopies take up valuable real estate and are vulnerable to all the same threats as your original documents. Its better to take scan copies and store online. You can always take a printout when you need to – and that will be identical to a photocopy.
Do Not Scan in Low Resolution. Low-res scanning can save megabytes, but the image can be difficult to read. Make sure you scan documents at at least 200 dpi, preferably in colour. This way the scanned copy is very similar to the original.
We at EisenVault aim to simplify document management for you. Call us today for a free assessment.