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Subject: Leaky roof

Leaky roof

From: Jeanne Eichelberger <jeichelb>
Date: Friday, September 4, 1998
Eleanor Cook <cookei [at] conrad__appstate__edu> writes

>    1.  In identifying local freezer spaces in the event of really
>        wet books, we are running up against possible Health Dept.
>        restrictions concerning placing non-food items in commercial
>        food freezer space.

I ran into the same problem in looking for freezer space.  There are
health regulations limiting what can be put in commercial food
freezers. Oddly enough, the food service on campus here didn't seem
to have that objection; their main worry was that they might need
the space before we could get the wet books out of their way.  There
were some local family-owned food suppliers who were quite willing,
space permitting, and didn't bring up the regulations against
non-food at all.  I suspect it's the larger chain companies whose
management is stricter, or whose insurance is more complicated or

I found that, in a pinch, we could rent refrigerated trucks.  It
would be expensive, but way ahead of nothing.

All that being said, we have dealt with numerous leaks in our
library's flat roof--none as awesome as what you seem to be faced
with, but we did have to dry over 900 books just a couple of weeks
ago.  We were able to air-dry them with the help of lots of fans and
dehumidifiers. Some of them took 2 weeks to dry, but none of them
molded, and we didn't have to freeze any. We have seldom had to
freeze books, and when we did, we parceled them out to library staff
with large home freezers and then retrieved them as we were able to
deal with them. The number that required freezing was never
many--only a very small percentage of the total wet books.

Regarding your wet tiles, take them out and replace them with
whatever is available.  Never mind looks.  In a pinch you can paint
the whole ceiling.  If they won't give you new tiles, take out the
wet ones and tack up plastic to keep the heat in.  Again, never mind
how it looks.  Leaving soggy tiles in place is an invitation to
chronic, major mold problems.

A word about the stacks you have covered with plastic sheeting.  Be
sure your books are as far away from the edges of the shelves as
possible.  If you have a leak, water will run down the plastic
sheeting till it gets to the edge of it, then keep going, possibly
hitting the edges of the lower shelves below the sheeting and
getting on any books that are sitting right at the front of the

Good luck. Doesn't sound like any fun at all,

Jeanne Eichelberger
Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:25
                 Distributed: Friday, September 4, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-25-003
Received on Friday, 4 September, 1998

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