Pardon our mess
If you have the satin or bright finish then you do need to keep on eye your gear. This finish costs a little more so a pillow case sprayed with gun oil or WD-40 are a good place to store your pieces; individually is best. If this is a bit of a hassle (it can be) be sure you look over your armour once a week to inspect it. This does a couple things... You get more familiar with your gear. You get to do preventative maintenance on your leathers and look for any rivets that may need some "reminding" of what their job is.
That brings me to my next point. This is important...
I am yours and whatever pieces you buy from me armourer ! I shaped it. I heat treated it. I understand everything about what went into it. If something takes a weird bend, starts to get a little tweaked, or flat out isn't something you feel comfortable dealing with- send it back to me. I'll fix it. 90% of the time there's no charge unless it's something along the lines of " I got this helm three years ago for ACL practices and it's starting to dent more easily now. "
If you have any questions, call, email, or message me at the Surly Anvil Facebook page.
The average life span of armor depends on how well you maintain it. How much work it takes to maintain your piece depends on several factors.