Document restoration >> How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage

There are many variations and different levels of treatment, and the conservator may offer alternatives. The procedures ultimately chosen depend on several considerations. These include the condition of the artifact, its future use, its aesthetic importance, what the media will allow,  How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage and, inevitably, the client's financial resources. 

The client should feel free to discuss the treatment with the conservator and ask How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage questions. Treatment is always preceded by a careful examination of each object. Before beginning work, the conservator provides a written report outlining the proposed treatment and estimating its cost. 

Magnifiers and ultraviolet lamps are among the tools that may be used during the examination. The solubility of all media is tested prior to any water or solvent How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage treatment. 

During the course of How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage treatment the conservator keeps written notes on all procedures, carefully noting any chemicals that are used. Photographs are taken of each object before and after treatment, and occasionally during. 

Photographs of selected individual items that represent the condition of a large group of similar objects may be How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage sufficient when photographing every one would be impractical. Following treatment, a written report is given to the client with copies of the photographic record. 


Superficial grime, dirt, and soot are removed with a soft brush, nonchemical vulcanized rubber sponges, or nonabrasive erasing materials such as vinyl erasers, both in blocks and ground up into granules. Cotton dampened with organic solvent is also sometimes used to remove How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage surface dirt. 


Accretions, including insect specks and mold residues, are normally removed by scalpels, aspirators, or specialized vacuum cleaners. Mold and insect deposits are best removed individually by mechanical means. A small vacuum aspirator or a HEPA vacuum cleaner is recommended for lifting mold. It is not possible to eliminate all traces of How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage mold, since the mycelia may be deeply rooted in the paper. 

Fumigation, once a standard treatment for mold and insects, is now seldom done because chemical fumigants can have adverse effects both on personnel and How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage on artifacts. Deep freezing may be appropriate to kill insects. 


When absolutely necessary, flaking or friable media are consolidated with an appropriate natural or synthetic material to stop or at least retard ongoing How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage loss. 

When it is desirable to wash a How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage paper artifact, small areas of water-soluble color can sometimes be fixed with brush applications of a dilute synthetic resin. This treatment can make it possible to wash without any loss of color, but it is practical only for isolated areas of soluble media. 

Occasionally the photograph-based portrait drawings known as "crayon enlargements” are spray-fixed because otherwise they cannot withstand needed How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage conservation treatment. Fixatives and consolidants should be stable, non-yellowing, and reversible. Fixatives are never used on pastels, however, because a permanent color change can result. 


If an object has been backed with a support that is not part of its original structure and the backing is destructive or inadequate, it should be removed if possible without putting the How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage object at risk. 

Sometimes How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage backing removal can be done in a water bath. If the object cannot be put in water, dry removal by mechanical means is necessary. Steam or local application of moisture can assist with mechanical backing removal, especially of the final layer of a backing immediately behind an object. 

Removing fragile paper from a solid backing is time-consuming and therefore costly. It is often difficult for a How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage conservator to know in advance how long a backing removal will take or how much it will cost. 


In the past, repairs were often made using materials harmful to paper, such as commercial tapes and adhesives that stain. Repairs made with water-based adhesives such as animal glue can be removed in a water bath, by local application of moisture, or with How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage poultices or steam. 

Synthetic How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage adhesives and pressure-sensitive (self-adhering) tapes usually have to be dissolved or softened with an organic solvent before they can be removed. Heat is sometimes helpful to remove these repairs. 


Water washing is often beneficial to paper. Washing not only removes dirt and aids in stain How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage reduction, but it can also wash out acidic compounds and other degradation products that have built up in the paper. 

Washing can also relax brittle or distorted paper and aid in flattening. For these reasons artifacts that are not visibly discolored or dirty might still benefit from washing. All media are carefully tested beforehand for water sensitivity. How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage

When materials permit, objects are immersed in filtered water. On occasion, a carefully controlled amount of a chemical compound material is added to the water to raise the pH to a slightly alkaline How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage level. 

This assists in the How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage cleaning process and in the neutralization and removal of acids. Artifacts with soluble media may be locally washed, float-washed, or washed on a suction table. 


Although simple water washing reduces acidity, the addition of an alkaline buffer to paper is sometimes recommended. This is How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage appropriate for papers that will be subject to acid hydrolysis even after washing, acidic papers that cannot be washed, and acidic papers that will be encapsulated. 

Sometimes alkalization is achieved by immersion in an aqueous solution of an alkaline substance such as magnesium bicarbonate or calcium hydroxide. If water-soluble media are present, the artifact may be treated nonaqueously with an alkaline salt dissolved or suspended in organic solvent. Nonaqueous solutions are usually How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage applied by spraying. 

While the How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage addition of an alkaline buffer is often beneficial, such chemicals may cause alteration or even damage to certain components of a work of art. Some colors, for example, may change if subjected to alkaline conditions. 

This change may be immediate or may occur over time. For this reason alkalization is not recommended for all materials. Like all conservation procedures, the decision to alkalize must be made on a case-by-case basis and should be left to a qualified How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage conservator. 

Tears are carefully aligned and then repaired, usually on the reverse, with narrow strips of torn Japanese tissue. The strips are adhered with a permanent, nonstaining adhesive such as starch paste or methyl cellulose. Sometimes synthetic adhesives are used when an artifact cannot tolerate moisture. Fine, translucent tissue is used to avoid thickening and to avoid obscuring writing on the reverse, if How To Recover Documents From Flood Damage present.

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