Conservation ConserveThis! Archive

Mold Remediation

Some before and after photos of a recent mold remediation treatment I’ve been working on. It’s a collection of more than a hundred architectural drawings, paintings, and photographic reproductions that were damaged by mold prior to their acquisition by the library.

 Fortunately, most of the mold damage is on the edges of the supports or on the mats, and not all the items in this group were affected by mold. However, vacuuming each item with our special HEPA filter vacuum in the conservation lab’s fume hood takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how stubborn the mold is. Additional cleaning was also done with grated eraser crumbs and a plastic eraser, when the paper support boards and mats were strong enough. More aesthetically-focused treatments such as stain removal will not be undertaken at this time, as the staining only affects the mats and support boards, not the images themselves.

Unfortunately, not all of the drawings were cleaned as successfully as others, and out of this group there’s still 10 larger paintings that will need more intense treatment. At least they all physically fit IN the fume hood, so thank goodness for small mercies.