Odor Control >> Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage

The particular characteristics of soot and the way it bonds to surfaces indicate that vacuuming and other dry-surface-cleaning methods are the first lines of defense in soot removal. Wet-cleaning can be less successful, particularly if the unique characteristics of soot are not taken into Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage consideration. 

Because of the differing sensitivity of surfaces to wet-cleaning methods,  Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage it is difficult to generalize about these cleaning methods for the removal of soot. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the water-repelling nature of soot points to the preference for a surfactant or detergent in water to remove soot, where it is appropriate. 

The extraction of colored materials with the use of organic solvents points to the need for caution with the use of organic solvents, particularly if not preceded by other cleaning methods. During wet-cleaning of a tightly bound soot layer, Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage the complex components of soot should not be solubilized unless there is a mechanism to "lift" these components away from the surface immediately.

Groom/Stick can be used by hand or applied on the end of an applicator stick or other tool. Soot sponges are very useful for cleaning many surfaces and can be used full size or cut into smaller blocks. Cotton batting and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage soft wipes such as the brand Webril Wipe or Dust Bunny can be used in a gentle lifting motion; broad rubbing motions should be avoided unless a surface is not porous or textured. 

Dry-surface-cleaning materials are also useful when testing for the presence of a light soot layer on an object. A small block of soot sponge or Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage Groom/Stick rubbed onto a lightly sooty surface will pick up some soot, where a swab dampened with a cleaning solvent will not.Generally speaking, wet-cleaning to remove soot should be carried out only when appropriate, after preliminary vacuuming and dry-surface-cleaning methods. 

Soot removal at the RSM was Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage most often accomplished with the use of simple aqueous mixtures incorporating a neutral detergent such as Orvus or a surfactant such as Aerosol OT. In this postdisaster situation, these solutions were applied on swabs or pads of Webril and for bulk cleaning on pieces of sponge, in pails, or spray-applied. 

Other common cleaning solutions such as 1 to 4% ammoniated water, 1 to 3% sodium perborate and 1 to 2% diammonium citrate were also useful for removal of soot layers. Pure solvents such as trichloroethylene, Stoddard solvent, and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage ethanol alone or with the addition of a small amount of water (sometimes with a surfactant) were used at the RSM on surfaces where aqueous cleaning was not appropriate.

The degree of change to the surface of an object will affect removal of soot. A surface that has softened and imbibed soot adds a complexity to the removal of soot intimately tied with the surface. In this case, Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage it has been noted that organic solvent gels are often required to loosen soot and can be used alternately with aqueous solutions to retrieve released soot (Henry 1995). 

At the RSM, organic solvents were required to clean feathers and furs. Varnished paintings and contemporary paintings are other examples of surfaces that may require organic solvent solutions if the surface is compromised by high temperatures; on the other hand, Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage canvas will respond better to vacuuming and dry techniques before the use of any solvents. 

In general, soot removal from a museum building and its furnishings will be required following a fire, furnace puff-back, or other soot-producing disaster, since the quantity of soot produced is very large and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage the particles will spread quickly throughout a museum before suppression systems are activated. Even if a museum collection is not left on-site during postfire refurbishment, the vapors from strong cleaners and sealants may remain for some time. 

Although the building cleanup at the RSM proceeded well, the museum staff were not adequately prepared for the fast-paced building restoration activities, and conservators were forced to delay and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage interrupt collection and exhibit recovery to accommodate building cleaning and restoration. During disaster planning, conservators should choose a fire restoration company, become acquainted with basic building cleaning and restoration processes, and write general specifications in the event of a fire cleanup.

In a fire recovery, conservators will be forced to combine conservation technique with practical and rapid methods of cleaning. The RSM conservators found the process of soot removal to be very different from the removal of dust and dirt of typical conservation cleaning treatments. A strict progressive cleaning sequence, involving the predominant use of vacuuming, dry-surface-cleaning, and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage then the careful use of wet-cleaning, is necessary for effective soot removal. 

Time is an important element in this Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage process. Although the Canadian Conservation Institute analysis of soot at the RSM had indicated that the soot would probably not pose a threat to the objects if it remained dry, practical results during the recovery definitely indicated that the soot became more difficult to remove over time.

In retrospect, while the technical aspects relating to the organization and implementation of a fire recovery were manageable tasks, their success was dependent on an environment created by the decisions and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage priorities established during the initial response to the disaster. If cleaning of a museum collection is not established as a first priority through a prior planning process, it is unlikely that all of the requirements for conservation recovery will be provided for during the initial chaotic stages following a disaster. 

If conservators are prevented from taking quick action or are not provided with adequate resources for soot removal, Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage the success of the technical plans for collection recovery after a fire will be limited. The postdisaster environment is complex, and conservators will be hard pressed to implement conservation strategies in an ideal manner. 

The preparation of a broad-based disaster plan that creates a favorable environment for collection recovery, and Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage provides for adequate financial and human resources for this recovery, will improve the outcome of conservation efforts in times of crisis.

The authors would like to acknowledge the numerous staff, temporary staff, and volunteers who worked tirelessly to rehabilitate the museum after the fire and the cooperative efforts of the property management corporation, insurance adjuster, construction manager, Remove The Smell Of Smoke Damage and trades who restored the museum building.

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