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Whats Happening To My Stamps In The Stockbook, Help

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Sweden
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Posted 11/29/2021   5:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add ubiyca to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello! I realize this might make some laugh when they read this but I have to ask. I have been noticing that a lot of stamps, but far from all, in my stockbook album when I sometimes feel like going backt to it and look at my collection have changed shape.

I took three pictures, one of a belgian congo stamps front and back, and the second example of the top row, note how a couple of these stamps have gotten bubbly wavy shape like they curl a little on top.

They don't feel "flexible" when I gently try to bend them, they are dry and rough, more like a crispy feeling like the gum has stiffened. Especially in the edges.

Why is this happening? Is it just a result from the gum or paper reacting to the inner environment? I have cool apartment, 20 degrees celcius/68 Fahrenheit.

Most noticable among the mint stamps, but not all.
They were flexible and smoother when you tried to bend one when they arrived in the mail, has this to do with being out in the outer climate by the mail or what?

Very strange, hope to get explaination.
None of the stamps have foxing.






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Edited by ubiyca - 11/29/2021 5:50 pm

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Posted 11/29/2021   5:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Opinion.
from primary school science, the "bi metal strip"
Bends in different displacements, depending on temperature.

Stamps with Gum Arabic, esp when thick, the paper and the gum, expand and contract at different rates. In cool temperature the gum hardens and contracts. (Gum viscocity changes)
Stamps will generally curl at high humidity.

Rather common.
Surprised though, my place is always around 20 degrees C , and that
seems for me to be ideal. (humidity 48-55%)

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Edited by rod222 - 11/29/2021 6:01 pm
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Sweden
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Posted 11/29/2021   6:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ubiyca to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks a lot! That might explain why they weren't bent or curled/"stiffened up" like this in the summer, when my apartment is rather hot, especially these hot summers, I get 28 degrees Celcius inside.

So this is not a sign that the stamp will be ruined or something that's wrong? Just that it adjust itself to the environments conditions and temperature then?
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Edited by ubiyca - 11/29/2021 6:05 pm
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Posted 11/29/2021   6:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ideally no,
Postage stamps should ideally be kept in a stable environment.

Others here may offer temp / humidity ranges, perhaps.

I have a woollen blanket insulation, under my roof tin. (custom orb)
On Sunday it was 37 degrees C, outside, 24 degrees inside, (no aircond needed)

I have a digital clock on my work station, that gives the current humidity readout.
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Edited by rod222 - 11/29/2021 6:09 pm
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Posted 11/29/2021   6:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ubiyca to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I thought my stamps were in the process of deteriorating. This can be seen on used stamps as well though, but then it's mostly the paper itself that is hardened. I take this as it's a normal phenomena and not a sign of my collection going to hell then!


Thank you very much for your information and response.
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Edited by ubiyca - 11/29/2021 6:11 pm
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Posted 11/29/2021   6:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most postage stamps are hydrophilic and will react to different humidity levels. Add in the gum, as Rod stated, and there are even more mechanics in play.
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Posted 11/29/2021   6:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I put it down to more of the Gum viscosity.
You may come across Gum Arabic that has turned a dirty brown,
this is "tropical toning"
Some gum can go so brittle, it can tear the stamp paper.
(bad husbandry)
Decisions prior to this, require decisions to remove damaged gum, to preserve the stamp.

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Posted 11/29/2021   11:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billsey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You do want to check periodically if they are free from sticking. If the humidity gets high enough, the gum can soften enough to adhere to the paper backing or mylar strips.
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Sweden
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Posted 11/30/2021   04:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ubiyca to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes but in this example, in the picture, the gum is dry , not sticky or moist.


I have a hard time understanding how humidity can reach stamps protected in a stockbook. I'm not living in a bath house lol.

Temperature change I can understand.
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Edited by ubiyca - 11/30/2021 11:03 am
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Posted 11/30/2021   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Unless something is hermetically sealed/airtight, humidity will invade.
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 11/30/2021 4:24 pm
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Posted 11/30/2021   5:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ubiyca to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Can the stamp normalize if you fix the humidity condition?
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Posted 11/30/2021   7:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billsey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sometimes, if there wasn't a sizable area stuck. You can see glazed gum on the back if so, since as the gum redries it will conform to the surface of the stockbook. More often you will see adhesion of the paper backing to the gum side of the stamp.
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Sweden
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Posted 12/01/2021   04:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ubiyca to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't know how the stamps could stick since my problem is that they're dry, to the point of being stiff/cruchy

What you see in the picture is not a moist gum, it might look like it but it's not. It's more like a corpse that's stiffened up.

But sure, it might have curled in the summer, then dried when temperature dropped, and winter was coming, just in time for when I looked.

Anyways, I have started to open the windows more and air my apartment now a couple of times a day to get rid of any moisture. Hope this helps clear the air. Our ventilation has been improved lately, they cleaned the pipes/vent a month ago and you can hear the flow when you're on the bathroom for example.
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Edited by ubiyca - 12/01/2021 05:16 am
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Posted 12/02/2021   3:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ubiyca to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Anyway, I have ordered a slipcase for my album now. I can't do much about the summer heat, but our ventilation has improved and this in combination with a slipcase should shut out at least some humidity one would think!
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Posted 12/02/2021   5:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"I have a hard time understanding how humidity can reach stamps protected in a stockbook. I'm not living in a bath house lol."

Well, humidity isn't over "there". It's in all the air inside your house and outside, as well. Just because you have stamps in a stock book or album does not mean they are outside the air. The humidity (moisture) level in the air rises and falls over time, and it rises and falls everywhere, including in your stock books and albums. They aren't somehow exempt. It's a bit like the temperature of the air. You wouldn't expect the temperature of the air inside your stamp album to be lower or higher than the temperature of the rest of the room.

There are things you can do about your humidity problems besides opening the windows from time to time. My stamps are in my office in which I have some small electric dehumidifiers. They remove water from the air and need to be emptied about once a week, but that's no problem for me. The ones I use are small, inexpensive dehumidifiers that cost $30-40 each and work just fine. I always have two running 24/7. Larger dehumidifiers (over $100) can run continuously without you having to empty the water that accumulates in the container if you set them up so the water runs out a hose into a bathroom shower stall, for example, out the window or through a hole you drill in the wall. That way, other than normal maintenance of the dehumidifier like removing mineral deposits with some vinegar (maybe once a year), you don't have to do any maintenance at all. Or just empty the "bucket" every few weeks or so.

And, finally, there are also completely passive ways to dehumidify your air. Try some dessicant containers which have a kind of salt product, calcium chloride, that absorbs moisture. You can empty out the moisture from these containers once every week or two. You do need to refresh the chemical salt in them every once in awhile but you can buy bags of it fairly cheaply. A popular brand name for this kind of product is "Damp Rid".

If your windows are always closed and you create a lot of moisture from showers, baths, cooking, and so on, your humidity level will be high. That's not good for stamps. Get a humidity measurement device (called a "hygrometer") and put it in the room somewhere. There are electronic ones that tell you the "range" of your humidity, meaning the highest it got and the lowest. That way you can tell how moist the air has been. You want your humidity level to be high enough so your skin doesn't dry out, but low enough not to ruin your stamps. I'd guess somwhere in the 40-50% range, but someone can correct me if that's wrong. Much higher and you have a moisture problem.

And finally (!) be aware that you could have a leaking pipe somewhere or some other problem like outside sprinklers that continaully produce excess moisture. Or maybe you live in a swamp, a rain forest, or near the ocean . . . ? Air there will be very humid. Take a look around sometime. Good luck.
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Edited by DrewM - 12/02/2021 6:00 pm
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Posted 12/02/2021   11:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add billsey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My humidity runs close to 40% here in this room pretty much year round. It drops slightly in the winter as the cold weather tends to condense dew out, and climbs in the summer for the same reason.
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