Water Damage >> Document Restoration

Water is the single most long-term destructive chemical in the interior milieu. It disintegrates or weakens most materials and assists the Document Restoration progression of microorganisms on others. Because it flows, water has the ability to carry with it a broad variety of pathogens and allergens harmful to humans. In the ideal worlds, edifices can be designed so that flooding can never happen; however, in the real world, water sometimes gets out of control in all edifices.

  1. Steps for recovering print materials and air drying books and books which are thoroughly damp: Place absorbent paper on table or floor where Document Restoration books may be dried (unprinted newspaper works great). Change paper on the table/floor when it becomes damp. Lay book at edge of table with fore edge pointing off edge and gently, but firmly apply pressure from spine toward fore edge, pushing out extra water. Gently open the water damage book and insert paper towels every 20-25pp. Change when the paper towels are damp. If cover is bleeding or coming off, remove and put aside to an area where it can be found again. In many cases, the books may need to be rebound.
  2. Utilize fans to generate air circulation in room. Books shall be dry enough for the next step: books which are partly Document Restoration. Do not try to fan leaves. Don’t remove covers unless they are bleeding. Leather and vellum bindings may not always present problems. When leather gets damp, especially red-rotted leather, it may turn black and take on a slimy consistency. These covers with water damage shall be removed and put Aside (inside to inside) with pieces of freezer papers between them to prevent transfer of discoloration. Likewise vellum bindings may need special attention because they may warp severely upon getting damp.
  3. Books which are partly Document Restoration, first open book partly (at a fairly shallow angle) and interweave with absorbent paper (paper towels work great). Begin at the end of the book and interweave every 20 or so leaves (i.e., pages). Leave book flat until paper towels have absorbed damp of the water--i.e., in about one hour. Change paper towels periodically until water damage book is only very slightly damp, and then go to the next step: water damage books which are damp. Books which are Document Restoration should stand damp on edge, slightly fanned, and dry in front of some fans. 
  4. If the cover is damper than the text, place absorbent paper between the boards and the water damage book, changing them when necessary. When almost dry, go on to the next step: books which are almost entirely dry. Books which are almost dry should lay the Document Restoration book flat, push the back and boards gently into a position, and place under a light weight. Leave in this position until book is thoroughly dry. When books are dry to the touch at the gutter, stack from largest to smallest and fore edge to spine with a board on top and underneath. Place weight on board to help flatten them.

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