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Subject: Mold on carpet

Mold on carpet

From: Frisina Ann <ann.frisina>
Date: Monday, January 29, 2001
Jessica Fletcher <jfletcher [at] denverartmuseum__org>

>We recently experienced minor flooding under the floor carpets in
>the elevator lobby of one of our galleries.  As a result, mildew is
>starting to grow.

I am assuming the mold and mildew you are experiencing is growing on
wall to wall carpet that is fixed to the floor.  When dealing with
mold and mildew it has always been my understanding that you can
clean and or remove the majority of it by any number of methods but
you will never rid the artifact of it entirely.  Leave the artifact
in a humid environment and the mold/mildew will grow again.  It is
also important to understand that mold/mildew stains are rarely if
ever completely removed.

The following steps may be taken to control the situation:

    Extract as much water as possible from the carpet.  Their is an
    industrial machine used by carpet cleaners to do this with.  I
    do not know the correct name for it.  This may be a difficult
    process if the carpet has a dense pad under it acting like a

    Place large floor air fans, the kind that are used in the
    construction industry, on to circulate the air in the area and
    help dry out the carpet.

    Raise the heat if possible which will lower humidity.

    Have the carpet cleaned professionally.  Luckily since the
    carpet is not an artifact you have more choices in cleaning

The big problem with circulating air in an affected area is that you
may be seeding the surrounding area not to mention your HVAC system
with spores. You could just rip the carpet up and replace it.  It
may be an unexpected expense to the museum but it will protect the
artifacts exhibited there and rid the museum of this problem.

Ann Frisina
Textile Conservator
Minnesota Historical Society

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:41
                 Distributed: Monday, January 29, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-41-005
Received on Monday, 29 January, 2001

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