Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to Treat Library Molds

We found molds in the basement library!!  My first instinct was to wipe them clean with rag moistened with anti molds cleaner. After a week or two, we found them again and upon closer examination, I found the molds had attacked our library books collection!! The solution I thought of was to install a dehumidifier to control to moisture inside the library. But then, we thought better and and dug deeper to solve this problem:
1. Find out what is causing the molds growth and eradicate it
a. Molds experts we consulted found there was more moisture content in the library than in the other rooms in the basement. Upon check up, the plumber found a leaking pipe supplying water in an adjacent bath. 
b. They also found rubbish inside the ceiling of library that was left by a contractor that reapired the ceiling several months ago. 
The excessive moisture content in the environment plus the rubbish served as growing medium for the molds to flourish in the area. See pictures below.



2.  Treat the affected areas and items
 After the repairs were completed and the rubbish cleaned, we sprayed the mold affected surfaces- inside the ceiling, library shelves, walls - with TIMBOR. Solution formula is written in the label. It is important that staff performing treatment wear protective outfit - mask and gloves- to protect from molds exposure. Note that the chemical leaves white spots on the sprayed on surface. Don't worry because they can be wiped off once dry.
Next we treated the books, one by one, dabbing the molds treatment solution on the affected areas carefully, so as not to spread them any further. Wear the protective gear just the same. 
This was a huge task that requires a lot of patience and carefulness because we had to check hundreds of books one by one, carefully checking the cover and pages of each book. It was nooticeable that molds like the bookprint copies more than the glossy pages. We had to carefully apply chemical to the spine, inside covers and each page affected. Afterwhich we let it dry indirectly under the sun. The weather was even unfortunately uncooperative that there were days of intermittent rains so we had to delay the job and work only when the sun is out. The whole job lasted one month.
Used for books                               
3. Control Humidity
Next, we installed dehumidifiers since the library is located in the basement and was not provided with any window for ventillation, there is a danger that molds can recur. These dehumidifiers now collect about 2-3 liters of water twice daily, that is how much moisture there is in the room. One of the staff is assigned to dispose collected water two times per day. The room is noticeably warmer as the air blown into the room by the unit is warmer.
4. Optional: Protect the books
This time, we have learned to place books at least a few inches away from the shelf wall to allow air to circulate within the shelves. But as an added protection, we wrapped each book in clear plastic case to prevent moisture from setting in and molds from recurring.

I haven't noticed any recurrence of molds after a month of treatment. Hopefully, with better awareness, we may be able to prevent recurrence and save the precious investment.

No comments:

Post a Comment