Recently the Mississippi River rose at incredible amounts rushing over the streets of downtown Memphis. These floods were near record-breaking levels almost reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Due to large amounts of rainfall and snow melt starting in Canada flooding has reached as far south as Tennessee and Arkansas. Its is soon to be expected to reach the mouth of the Mississippi River with the highest water levels of 48 feet since 1937, according to the National Weather Service.
Whether you are located near a large river such as the Mississippi River or not you may be in danger of damaged property due to flooding. More people are hurt or have damaged property because of floods than any other natural disaster according to FEMA. We all own things that are dear to us such as, photographs, paintings, family documents, and certificates that can be damaged during a flood. Besides water damage most of these items can fall victim to the growth of mold due to the damp or humid environment caused by flooding.
Here are three things you should try to do immediately after a flood:
1. Remove items from wet or damp area.
2. Dry wet items using circulating air with a fan…but…
3. DO NOT turn on the heat! Heat will accelerate the mold growth.
To prevent damaged valuables there are a few things that you can do. The first thing to do would be to make copies of any documents, photos or even videos and keep them in a safe place such as another city! Second, store all of your items in protective boxes such as those archival boxes you can purchase at any art supply store. Lastly having a plan for removing valuables after a disaster would be helpful.
Obviously handling a wet guilt is different than handling a painting. So try and be aware of how to be careful with each item. For instance, the painting in the photo is flaking badly from the shrinking of the canvas- be careful not to knock the paint off! It can be restored NO MATTER HOW BAD IT LOOKS!
But one thing people often do not think about is that when the plaster frame gets wet, the plaster design can come off the frame in your hands. Air-dry it immediately. Busted up antique frames can also be restored to look perfect again.
If a disaster hasn’t happened to you yet, you have time to prepare before a disaster occurs. For more tips and instructions, check out what’s on www.saveyourstuff/blog.com and www.saveyourstufffromadisaster.com. There’s lots of free stuff to download.
Questions about conservation/restoration? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757
Questions about preparing your stuff for an earthquake or hurricane? Click on “Products” at the top of the page.
Questions about art and antique appraisals? Call Richard at (805) 895-5121
Questions about working with an insurance claim? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757
Also see: www.tipsforartcollectors.org
What can you do at home or at the office to protect and save your artwork and collectibles from damage in an earthquake or hurricane?