Tips for Emergency Drying Procedures for Water Damaged Paper, Collections, and Textiles
NOTE: As a safety precaution wear protective latex gloves and long sleeved shirt.
Wearing a respirator if mold is present is important. Precaution should be taken when dealing with materials that are covered with active or dry mold. Even though the mold is dry it doesn’t mean it is dead. Call water damage professional or mold specialist to prevent spreading the mold spores throughout the environment.
You can use fans when air drying to maximize air circulation. Do NOT point fans directly at the materials being dried. If any mold is present, DO NOT use a fan at all.
If possible, try to remove excess moisture by using white bath towels, white paper towels, blotter paper, un-inked newsprint or a clean sponge. Do NOT use printed newspaper, magazines or colored towels, the ink or dye may bleed or transfer.
Air Drying Paper Documents, Maps, Posters, Etc.
Air Drying Framed Items:
Air Drying Books:
Air Drying Photographic Materials:
Recovery of Water Damaged Collections with Mold:
The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC)
1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320
Washington, D.C. 20005-1714
Telephone (202) 452-9545
FAX (202) 452-9328
Air drying should be done in a cool, low humidity area that has good air circulation. Place absorbent materials under damaged items and replace frequently. If possible, air dry materials on plastic racks or rust proof screens to help with air circulation and to increase evaporation. Exposure to sunlight may help reduce mold, but could also cause fading.
When interleaving, be sure to use blotting paper, un-inked newsprint, white paper towels, freezer paper, or waxed paper to help keep items from sticking together and to prevent dye or ink transfer.
Freezing items that cannot be dried within 48 hours will help to stabilize and stop mold growth, ink running, dye transfer and swelling.
Use a gentle stream of cool, clean running water if rinsing items that are dirty or muddy. You can also gently agitate item in a large container filled with clean cool water. DO NOT scrub (scrubbing drives dirt in deeper). Use a sponge or soft cloth to blot mud and debris.