Water	  Damage	  on	  Art	  –	  Satins,	  Mold	  Discover	  5	  Little	  Known	  Survival	  Tips	  By	  Chelsea	  Padgett,...
 This	  print	  from	  the	  1800’s	  had	  mold	  growing	  all	  over	  it.	  After	  it	  got	  wet,	  it	  was	  luckl...
 DO	  NOT	  THROW	  YOUR	  STAINED	  FAMILY	  HISTORY	  DOCUMENTS,	  OLD	  PHOTOS	  OR	  PRINTS	  AWAY!	  (My	  Mom	  did	...
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Water Damage and Mold Stains on Art

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Great info to help you save your irreplaceable family history documents and framed valuable prints and collectibles.

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Water Damage and Mold Stains on Art

  1. 1. Water  Damage  on  Art  –  Satins,  Mold  Discover  5  Little  Known  Survival  Tips  By  Chelsea  Padgett,  Guest  Blogger          We  all  have  valuable,  if  not  irreplaceable,  items  on  paper:  certificates,  diplomas,  love  letters,  genealogy…  stuff  that  can’t  be  insured.  Collectors  of  prints  and  art  on  paper  have  investment  and  decorating  money  wrapped  up  in  their  items.  Water  damage  is  enemy  #1.    Have  any  of  your  prints  or  personal  documents  been  exposed  to  water?  Little  brown  dots  on  your  paper  items  could  tell  a  past  story  of  mold  that  had  died  and  dried.  Maybe  there  is  a  leak  in  your  garage  and  it  happens  to  be  right  over  a  box  of  your  family  history  papers,  diplomas  and  wedding  certificates?          If  it  has,  you  may  be  now  wondering  what  those  live  fuzzy  dots  on  it  are…  it  is  live  mold  that  will  get  wore,  stain  worse  with  time  and  eat  into  your  cherished  family  treasures,  memorabilia,  heirlooms.  Now  your  thinking  how  in  the  world  can  you  get  rid  of  it???    This  is  a  print  that  was  in  a  woman’s  house  that  caught  on  fire,  the  fireman  luckily  saved  her  house,  so  naturally  all  of  her  house  contents  (lots  of  art,  paintings  and  prints)  were  exposed  to  water,  staining,  mold,  etc.  We  got  involved  as  the  expert  witness  for  her  insurance  company  to  help  them  figure  out  the  damage,  settle  and  to  help  her  take  care  of  the  damage.  
  2. 2.  This  print  from  the  1800’s  had  mold  growing  all  over  it.  After  it  got  wet,  it  was  luckly  set  aside  somewhere  safe  where  it  wouldn’t  be  touched,  put  somewhere  to  dry  and  now  it  is  covered  with  the  little  brown  dots  of  dead  mold  as  mentioned  before.  It  attacked  the  mating  around  the  picture,  the  backing  board  behind  the  print,  and  there’s  a  little  bit  barely  on  the  print  itself.      So,  what  do  you  do  now?  I  have  good  news!  You  can’t  do  anything  about  the  dots  nor  water  stains.  You’ll  need  professional  help  for  that.  So,  take  that  task  off  your  To-­‐Do  list.  But  I  will  tell  you  how  you  can  stabilize  the  stains  so  they  don’t  get  darker  or  spread.    
  3. 3.  DO  NOT  THROW  YOUR  STAINED  FAMILY  HISTORY  DOCUMENTS,  OLD  PHOTOS  OR  PRINTS  AWAY!  (My  Mom  did  that  and  I’m  still  crying  over  the  important  stuff  we  lost)  Follow  these  5  Little  Known  Survival  Tips,  as  I  promised:     1. Don’t  handle  any  paper  items  while  they  are  wet!  They  will  tear.  Let  them  dry   out,  move  the  air  with  fans,  don’t  turn  on  a  heater…  that  will  encourage  mold   growth!   2. Do  not  try  and  clean  the  mat  and  backing  board,  just  throw  them  away.  If  the   framing  needs  to  be  pulled  apart,  the  framer  can  do  that  for  you.  You  will   probably  damage  the  matted  item.   3. Get  an  architect  cleaning  pad  to  get  fuzzy  mold  off  of  the  artwork.  This  will   not  remove  the  stain  (Click  here  for  Chapter  6  page  87  of  How  to  Save  Your   Stuff  from  a  Disaster).  Be  sure  to  wear  a  protective  dust  mask  and  plastic   gloves.     4. Deacidify  the  print  from  the  back  of  the  artwork  with  a  deacidification  spray.   This  will  help  retard  any  future  discoloration  and  darkening  of  the  paper  or   stains.  Use  in  a  well  ventilated  area.  The  solvent  will  also  kill  the  mold.   5. Either  store  in  Mylar  protective  envelope  or  reframe/re-­‐mat  in  acid  free   buffer  boards.  As  you  can  see  in  this  photo,  the  mold  afflicted  the  print  mostly   around  the  border  and  not  in  the  central  image.  So,  when  you  re-­‐matt  the   item,  you  can  “matt  out”  the  mold  stains  around  the  edges.  In  this  case  you   wouldn’t  have  to  do  anything  to  the  “fix”  the  print.    Those  of  you  that  enjoy  a  little  “light”  do-­‐it-­‐yourself  work,  this  process  is  for  you.  Get  a  copy  of  How  To  Save  Your  Stuff  From  A  Disaster  for  more  instructions,  fun  stories  and  invaluable  help.  For  supplies,  go  to  University  Products.     Art  conservation  questions?  Call  Scott  M.  Haskins  805  564  3438     Art  appraisal  questions?  Call  Richard  Holgate  805  895  5121     Follow  us  on  Facebook  at  Scott  M.  Haskins  and  at  Save  Your  Stuff     For  a  quick  interesting  video  about  shake  proofing  your  home  (earthquakes,   hurricanes,  tornados,  grandchildren)  go  to   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxOkdN-­‐IR_o   Leave  a  THUMBS  UP  and  a  comment?  Thanks     For  a  short  video  tour  of  Fine  Art  Conservation  Laboratories,  click  here.            

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