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Water Damage

Mercedes wrote:
>I wonder if anyone on the list could help us please.  We recently had the
>basement flood which damaged some 2 doz. books.  We were told to put them
>in a freezer right away.  How long do we leave them there and how do
>we repair the water damage once they come out of the freezer?

I'm a little gun-shy about sending another message to this list, but here goes.
I have experienced flooding twice in which I put books in a large walk-in
freezer.  I found the longer you leave them in there, the more they dry out
on their own.  I left some large thick volumes in for almost a year.  I
check them about once a month.  I don't actually open them, but you can
kind of fan the pages to see if they are loosening up.  If they are still
stuck tight together, leave them in longer.  If they seem to be loosening,
I take them out and lay them on paper towels until they are thawed, usually
3-4 hours.  Then I interleave paper towels every 5-10 pages if there are
still wet spots. Change the towels and put dry ones in different pages
every few hours. If they are only damp, stand them head-down slightly open
in front of a fan which is on low speed.  Leave them this way for a day or
two.  Sometimes they still warp, and you can put them in a press for a few
days to try to straighted them up again.  Good luck!  Sue.

Sue Dunlap                                     phone: 330 263 2107
Preservation/Preparation Manager               fax: 330 263 2253
College of Wooster Libriaries                  email:sdunlap@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
College of Wooster
Wooster OH 44691-2364

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