What’s vital to resuming work? of sentimental or high monetary value?
What salvage work will your insurance cover? What you can fund through donation or loan?
Will you do the work, or hire a professional? (When in doubt, consult an art conservator or restoration specialist.)
Time- and space-intensive, this method is best for a small number of items. Air drying moldy artwork and other materials should be done in an isolated area (indoors or outdoors). If indoors, seal the return vent and open windows to vent the air outdoors. If outdoors, keep watercolors, dyed textiles, and other light-sensitive materials out of direct sunlight. Follow standard air-drying procedures.
Recommended for quantities of moldy books, paper, textiles, leather, and/or small wooden objects, and if you have access to freezer space (large commercial freezer is best, but a home freezer is also okay). Moldy items can be frozen, then thawed and dried when you have time and space. Follow standard freezing procedures.
Recommended, except for fragile objects. Use a HEPA hand vac or nozzle attachment (covered with a piece of cheesecloth or plastic screen to avoid lifting off flakes or loose parts). A soft, clean natural bristle brush is useful to gently move the mold toward the nozzle — but only do this outdoors.
Only for smooth, hard surfaces—never on paper or textiles! Use a soft cloth or cotton swab.
Mold can damage organic materials, both structurally as well as on the surface (discoloration or stain).
See this companion piece on mold in the Clean-up section for more information on mold and health risks.
Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI).
“Mould Outbreak--An Immediate Response.”
Covers both basics and more technical aspects of dealing with post-disaster response.
New England Document Conservation Center.
Beth Patkus, “Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper.”
One of NEDCC’s technical leaflets on emergency management — written for cultural institutions, but useful for artists.
Conservation Online (CoOL)
All-purpose bibliography and webliography, includes section of information for general public.