Many people have come to realize how much lamination is beneficial when it comes to the protection of documents. In fact, protecting whatever is enclosed between the sheets is the primary purpose of lamination.
The lamination of paper will protect it from damage by reducing its exposure to elements that aid its damage. Some of these elements include heat and moisture. Whenever heat comes in contact with the paper, you should expect it to disintegrate in no time.
If, by chance, you bring a laminated item close to heat, the temperature will affect the external closing before it begins to heat the paper inside. Using laminator sheets will protect your document from such risks.
The other element is moisture will not destroy your item as fast as heat, but it will be a gradual process. Sometimes, the paper will not get destroyed completely, but only whatever is on it will fade away.
When you encase your documents in laminator sheets, you are protecting them from damage by moisture. The paper might slip into the water by mistake and soak if it is not laminated.
Also, you might want to protect your document from tears. If a paper is not handled correctly, it will tear easily without any restriction. If you laminate it, the plastic sheets will be a solid resistance to tearing up.
There are also other reasons people choose to laminate papers and other items. One of these reasons is to improve its appearance and texture. Paper looks and feels better when it is laminated.
Now that you know the reasons people love to laminate, you should be aware of how long laminated items can last without getting damaged. It is the same as knowing the life spans of these items.
How Long Will My Laminated Paper Last?
Paper on its own lasts very much longer, especially when it is not exposed to destructive agents. When paper is laminated, it increases its lifespan and prevents damage from these agents.
Take, for example, a paper that is not laminated could stay new for years if it is properly stored. If it is not well kept, heat and water could come in and begin to break it down.
However, the fact that you store the paper in a good place will prevent it from this kind of damage. You could come back after a decade to still meet your paper around, although the quality might have reduced.
Paper, as we know, is made from timber which is an organic item; it once had life. As much as we know, anything that has life will deteriorate when the time comes. So, paper indeed has a life span.
If you introduce deteriorating agents like worms and rodents to your supposed paper storage, you might end up with pieces of trash in a while. Worms, in particular, like to feed on paper since it has a wood nature.
Back to our focus, which is laminated paper. Laminated paper is encased in plastic so the life span might be doubled or even tripled. The plastic case will help protect it for as long as possible.
Usually, if you leave the ordinary paper in a dumpsite for some days, it will begin to decompose till nothing else is left; that’s how quick the process is. However, lamination makes the process more complicated and sometimes impossible.
The laminated paper could last for decades as long as you don’t expose it to whatever will destroy the plastic case. When you dispose of laminated items, they will never decompose until there is an agent that causes that.
The only agent that can break plastic down is heat. Plastic does not break down no matter how long you leave it in a dumpsite. Deteriorating agents do not react with plastic even if they will with the content of the plastic.
If you are having doubts about laminating paper and think that it will not last for long, then you are wrong. The laminated paper will last even longer than you have expected. All you need is good storage and prevent exposure to heat.
Is it Safe to Laminate My Documents to make them last longer?
The question above is a very complicated one, so I will explain it bit by bit. You know by now that lamination helps elongate the life span of your document, so that it might seem a great idea to laminate essential documents like certificates.
However, you could be at a significant disadvantage when trying to laminate these certificates. I will explain why I have said so.
The first instance where this idea could be a regret is when you use a faulty laminator. Many times, laminators burn papers when they get overheated. I am not talking about minor burns. It can destroy paper for good.
Imagine this on your certificate. You would never be able to retrieve it again. However, this is just a little of why laminating documents could be a bad idea.
Also, some certificates come with prints, marks, security seals, or stamps; these prints are critical and taken seriously by many bodies.
Sometimes, laminating could flatten out these seals, which will be less visible on your documents. When they notice this, it might take a lot of time and money before you get verified. Sometimes, they will not be able to verify such documents.
In addition, laminating could be a bad idea, especially when it is time to make duplicates or photocopies. When you put laminated documents in the photocopier, the reflective polythene texture may hinder the quality of the copies.
You might experience distorted text, lines, and colors when you make photocopies of laminated papers. Now you know it might be a bad idea to laminate your documents all to want them to last longer.
Your question now should be what to do to make your documents last longer without laminating them. I will explain in the next paragraph.
You can get plastic bags with seals at the tips and keep your documents in them. This technique is better than laminate, even as they serve a similar purpose.
Keep your original documents in a safe bag, and you can carry the duplicates around. You should only take the original with you when you are asked for it. I will advise you to make lots of photocopies to take everywhere.
You should also protect the documents from moisture. Please do not leave it flying carelessly around.
Still Wish to Laminate? Read this
Before you laminate at all, check the laminator if it is not overheated yet. You can also do this by sampling it first. Put another paper in the laminator to see how it comes out before putting in your essential documents.
To also reduce the risk of overheating when laminating, you can use a cold laminator instead of a hot one. Cold laminators have a lesser chance of burning your documents when you laminate them.
In conclusion, if you choose to laminate your documents or not, ensure you scan each of them and save them directly to your email or cloud drive to avoid permanent loss.