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Disaster Manual: Cleaning Books Checklist

A comprehensive collection of links to resources for disaster prevention, recovery, training, and outreach.

Cleaning Books Checklist

Dry all dirty, sooty and moldy materials before cleaning and/or removing mold.

2.  Moldy materials that cannot be treated immediately should be frozen.  Freezing mold does

     not kill or eradicate it; it merely halts mold growth.

3.  Hold book shut at front edge.

4.  Vacuum mold from: 

  • Top edge of book moving from spine to edge
  • Bottom edge from spine to edge
  • Front edge from top to bottom

5.  Vacuum:

  • Front cover:  Open and vacuum inner edge, near fold (hinge area).
  • Back cover:  Open and vacuum inner edge, near fold (hinge area).
  • Spine

6.  Repeat process using “dry chemical sponge” made of pure latex or a rubber sponge.  Do not

    use a cellulose sponge. 

  • Do not get the sponge wet.
  • Do not use any liquid to eliminate mold; it will cause mold to grow.
  • Do not put treated materials into sealed containers, boxes or plastic because it can encourage mold growth.

7.  Upon completion of the cleaning process (before returning materials to rest of collection):

  • Look through the book to make certain that no mold, soot and/or dirt remain.
  • Put in a dry, stable environment.
  • Monitor for reappearance of mold.
  • Return to original location after the environment is stable and the relative humidity is back to 45% – 60% (+ or – 2%).  These materials are very susceptible to mold.
  • Monitor previously infected areas throughout seasonal changes to determine that the mold remains arrested.

8.  Remove dry, unaffected materials to a separate location.

9.  Count and itemize irreparably damaged material for insurance purposes.

10. Solicit bids for water-damaged material.  Price will depend on amount of water damage,

      amount of time since exposure to moisture, and size of collection.