Restoring Home Libraries and Collections after a Water Damage Disaster Has Occurred
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers tips for the care and preservation of home libraries and provides water damage restoration services if the collection suffers a water damage disaster.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides water damage restoration and contents cleaning for water-damaged home libraries and collections. For the homeowner who has suffered a water damage disaster that has affected a prized collection, it is comforting to know that competent, skilled, and certified restoration professionals will be handling the cleanup and restoration of these valuable contents.
Californians love collecting. Motivations are varied, including the prospect that the value of the collectibles will dramatically increase as time passes. Rarity and antiquity (the age of the item) are a factor in the value of the collection. Some people create collections as a hobby simply because they enjoy the hunt. Some of the most popular things Californians collect include coins, movies, video games, books, music CDs, stamps, rocks and gems, key chains, dolls, and sports cards.
A collection of mass market paperback novels may have little or no value. On the other hand, out-of-print, rare, or vintage books could be worth a fortune. A shoebox full of old baseball cards may have a rare rookie card worth thousands of dollars. A large collection of comic books may have great sentimental value, while only a couple of the items have any real monetary value.
Restoration of Water-Damaged Libraries and Other Collections
National Park Service archivists, who preserve some of the most valuable books, documents, and other antiquities in the history of America, explain the challenges of dealing with water-damaged books: “Wet books and papers are some of the most fragile items to be salvaged from a home or library after a flood. Paper loses strength when it gets wet, and books suffer damage due to swelling. Additionally, mold may begin to grow when objects are left damp for approximately 72 hours.”
SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers advice on how to prevent damage to a personal book collection and how to clean up and restore materials should they suffer water damage. Preservation of a prized personal library or other collection begins with taking proactive steps to prevent water damage. Here are some tips to safeguard collectibles.
Tip #1: A cool, dry, dark environment is best for books and other paper documents. Mold loves moisture and warmth, and direct sunlight can fade printed materials.
Tip #2: Handle books with clean, dry hands or gloves. Dirt and oils can stain books or accelerate deterioration.
Tip #3: Keep food, pets, post-it notes, paper clips, and rubber bands away from books and documents. Food attracts destructive pests. Pets chew on books. Post-it notes, paper clips, and rubber bands can degrade or stain pages and book covers.
What to Do When Books Suffer Water Damage
Some water damage disasters are beyond human control and are unavoidable. Follow these tips when dealing with books that have suffered water damage.
Tip: Take immediate action when a water damage disaster occurs in the home, even if books and other paper collectibles are not directly affected. Close off the library from the rest of the house. The additional moisture will be absorbed by the dry covers and pages of the books if moisture levels are not quickly reduced with dehumidifiers or rapid spin fans. Place a room dehumidifier in the collection room to keep moisture levels low.
Tip: Monitor for signs of mold and mildew. Mold thrives on organic matter such as books, and a mold outbreak in the reading room could develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Tip: Turn to book, document, and photograph cleaning and restoration specialists.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides document restoration services with the understanding that a home is the heart of a family. The SERVPRO restoration specialists strive to restore water-damaged contents such as books and documents endowed with precious, priceless memories. The team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto has helped restore legal documents, family heirloom Bibles, and other important mementos for homeowners in Menlo Park, Stanford, and Palo Alto.
Books, documents, and photographs that have suffered water damage must be handled with extreme caution. Not all items can be fully restored to pre-damaged condition. The SERVPRO team, however, is able to save many books and documents from being ruined by water damage.
The type of documents and the severity of the water damage determine which of the following options best fit the restoration needs: air-drying, dehumidification, freezer drying, vacuum freeze-drying, or vacuum thermal drying. These state-of-the-art technologies make SERVPRO of Palo Alto proficient in book and document restoration.
To learn more about water damage restoration in Menlo Park, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com