MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
SALVAGE OF WATER DAMAGED COLLECTIONS
|Priority:||Wet polychrome objects require immediate attention. Notify the objects conservator at once. Begin drying of all material within 48 hours to prevent mold growth.|
|Handling Precautions:||Move items only after a place has been prepared to receive them. Lift from the bottom of an object: tables from the apron; chairs by the seat rails, not by arms, splats, or crest rails; trunks from the bottom; etc.|
|Packing Method:||Partially wetted objects can be packed with dry blotting materials such as unused newsprint and acid free blotters to remove as much moisture as possible. Thoroughly wetted, unpainted objects should be wrapped with blotting materials, then wrapped in polyethylene sheeting to retain as much moisture as possible, since fast drying will cause irreversible damage.|
|Preparation for Drying:||Rinse or sponge with clear water to remove mud or dirt before drying. Be careful not to wipe or scour as grit will damage remaining finish. Use a soft bristle brush to clean carvings and crevices. If mud has dried, dampen lightly with a sponge and remove with a wood spatula.|
|Drying Procedure:||Sponges, clean towels, paper towels, or unused newsprint may be used to absorb excess moisture.
Air dry, using fans to keep air moving without blowing directly on the pieces. Raise items off the floor on trestles or 2x4 lumber to allow air to circulate underneath the items. Open doors and drawers to allow air to circulate inside the item.
Use portable dehumidifiers to slowly remove moisture from the area/objects. Bring relative humidity down to 50-55%. Drying quickly will cause warping and cracking.
Minnesota Historical Society Disaster Preparedness Plan 6/93