While we are still deep in the snows of winter, it may seem early to be thinking about the dangers posed by the annual spring thaw.  However, it’s never too early to prevent a potential disaster.  Basements and other low-lying storage areas are at the greatest risk for seepage, leakage, and flooding.  The ISU Library Preservation Department would like to offer you a gentle reminder to prepare for the spring thaw by following these precautions:

  • Move high value (monetary and/or sentimental) items to more climate-controlled main areas of the house, especially items that are sensitive to moisture, such as photographs.
  • Clear all floor drains.
  • Check your sump pump and make sure it is working properly.
  • Elevate items 4-6 inches off the floor, whether on shelves, pallets, or blocks.  Use plastic sheeting to create a barrier between the pallet and the items.  Don’t forget to elevate furniture, too!
  • Use a dehumidifier if you are concerned about high humidity levels.  (High humidity encourages rapid mold growth.)
  • Check storage areas periodically for water and mold — remember to peek inside boxes and other containers.

If items do get wet or moldy, detailed salvage tips can be found in NEDCC’s Preservation Leaflets.  For additional help, schedule an appointment with the ISU Library Preservation Department by calling 515-294-0776.

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