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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Preventing Mold Damage in Keepsakes, Collections, and Memory Boxes in Charleston

2/12/2017 (Permalink)

Storing Your Charleston Treasures in a Damp Attic or Basement Can Result in Mold Damage

SERVPRO Offers Mold Protection Tips for Your Belongs and Treasures

There is no place on this planet inhabited by people that are not also home to mold. Written records of its existence and the ability to cause problems date back to the earliest times. Mold can never be eradicated. Controlling its growth and location is something that can be achieved, nonetheless.
Because these fungi exist in most places, including your Charleston home, mold damage can hit where it hurts the most – your memories and irreplaceable keepsakes. It is rare for items that are on display in your curio cabinet to become damaged by mold because ventilation, a standard RH, and sunlight can keep mold from growing, even if it is indirect sunlight. Mold is more likely to proliferate in those items which are packed away and rarely taken out of storage. Thinking that these items were dry when stored and that they are safe from hazards can lead to lost possessions.
Facts about mold to keep in mind when preparing your precious possessions for storage are:  
Mold is everyplace, an absence of mold's tell-tale odor does not mean it is not a problem.
Mold spores only need a tiny bit of water to begin actively growing.
Mold grows best in dark places with little airflow.
The dust in your home contains mold spores, and cellulose is the primary food source for these fungi.

Mold is already in your attic, basement, and shed. Mold is also present inside of the boxes you intend to use. Many, if not all, of the items you store will already have mold spores present on them. With the lack of sunlight and air flow, the cardboard boxes just need a bit of moisture for the mold to grow. Moisture in the form of condensation can be substantial enough. There are a few actions that you can do before storing your keepsakes. If you have items in storage now, you can still act on these tips.

1. Place at least one bead pack of desiccant in each box. You can find these in most craft or sewing stores.
2. Wrap metal items in absorbent fabric. Any items that are smooth and glossy, such as china, glass, mirrors, and glazed clay can be a focal point of condensation. You should not use anything that is very absorbent. Doing so can attract and hold moisture, which you are trying to avoid. Make sure that all vases and other items that could hold water are entirely dry.
3. Launder and then, if possible, line dry any textiles, including stuffed toys before storing. Laundering and line drying reduces spores and limits a food source for the mold.
4. Take books outside on a sunny day and dust them off thoroughly.
5. Do not include anything that is damp, or that has any signs of mold being present. Spots of mold no matter how old should signal that the item needs to bagged separately, in plastic, before being stored.
SERVPRO of Bradley County can help you in your fight against mold. If you find mold in your home or think that it may be a problem, call us at (423) 614-5552. Mold damage can happen at any time, so we are always here to take your call.

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