How to Remove Mold Damage From Paintings
Steps to Remove Mold from Art Work
If you have mold growing in your Harbor Island,WA house, the mold damage may not be contained to the building. In some cases, the fungus finds a home on your belongings. When this happens to be a priceless photograph or piece of art, it can be upsetting; however, you may not need to say goodbye to this object after all. Using the following steps, mold can be removed from artwork and other porous items.
1. Dry the Item
Because mold grows most easily in moist environments, the first step in mold cleaning is to dry the damaged item. Reducing the moisture keeps the mold from spreading further and allows it to be removed from the object. There are several techniques that can be used depending on the extent of the damage, including thermal drying, freeze drying and simple air drying.
2. Remove the Mold
Once the item is dry, the mold can be removed. In some cases, mold cleaning will be simple, and the mold will turn into a powder that can be easily brushed away. Depending on the severity of the damage, more aggressive techniques may be required.
3. Clean and Sanitize
After the visible mold has been removed, the item will likely need to be sanitized to get rid of any lingering mold spores that could cause the growth to return. Gamma irradiation is one way to do this. This mold cleaning process will not damage your items but will eliminate mold spores as well as other bacteria and contaminants that may be present.
If your belongings have been damaged by mold, you don’t need to despair. A mold remediation service can often save many affected items with their thorough cleaning process. Some objects may have lingering signs of damage, but for those where the mold growth was less severe, a professional service will be able to return them to you in their previous condition.
A couple months ago, Erika had a small leak in her basement powder room sink. She cleaned up the water, had a plumber out to fix the plumbing, and figured that was that. However, one day while doing laundry, she decided to use that room. Something seemed a little off. The room didn’t smell like the apple cinnamon air freshener that she had put in there. In fact, it smelled damp - as though the water had never been cleaned up. She called her local SERVPRO, who was able to take moisture readings in the walls.
It turns out that not only did the water from the leak a couple months ago soak into the walls, but it had seeped halfway up the wall! Combined with the fairly moist environment already present in the basement, Erika was looking at a lot more damage than she had originally feared. The technician pulled back the baseboard, and found colonies of black mold growing! In the end, half of the wall had to be demolition, and Erika ended up having to pay not only for the SERVPRO services, but also the services of a general contractor put her bathroom back together.
Mold is such a tricky microscopic beast, because the spores themselves are in the air around us at all times. They float through the air unnoticed by all (except those who are allergic) until they are exposed to water. Here in the Pacific Northwest, mold is especially prevalent because of the amount of rain we receive annually. The constant damp air combined with a water loss in a house is a perfect breeding ground for mold.
There are a few ways to help reduce or prevent mold from growing in your home, however:
- Make sure that all windows are air-tight.
- A faulty seal in a window, especially in the winter, can allow moisture in and give mold room to grow.
- If there is water damage, have someone out immediately to start drying.
- It takes only 72 hours for mold to start presenting itself.
- Ensure that laundry rooms are properly vented.
- The moist heat from the dryer is a wonderful place for mold.
- Ensure that crawl spaces, garages, and attics are properly insulated.
Even though mold may not be 100% preventable, it is 100% removable. If you think you may have mold present in your house, call SERVPRO of South & West Seattle at 425-225-2227 for a cost-free estimate today.