Artwork that you have printed or bought is an investment. Think of mounting and framing as preserving your asset. Choosing the right type of mounting board, mating, and frame can mean the difference between the piece lasting for years or generations.
Acid free materials should be used when dry mounting and framing your work. This not only applies to the type of board or mating selected, but also the adhesive used to affix the print to the board. Most reputable framers will use the proper adhesive in their process, but may not use the right type of backing or mat unless requested by the customer. That is where the consumer needs to be educated about their purchase. Acid free materials can sometimes come with a higher price. The economical frame and mat combo sold at your local craft store can seem like a great deal until it degrades your print. Be sure to do your research before you make your purchase.
With the move towards environmental conservation many frame companies even have lines that promote reforestation for the materials used to make their product. So you are not only preserving your artwork, you are also supporting environmental sustainability.
If you have art work currently framed with materials that are not acid free, you should consider re-framing them before it is too late. The longer it stays in its current state the acid will continue to leach in to the print. It may not show damage today, but it will over time. Restoring a print is more costly than framing it properly the first time.
Remember to do your research and make sure that the materials used to finish your art will keep it looking beautiful today and for years to come.