Spring Thaw Tips

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.

During a disaster, time is critical but help is a phone call away.  IMALERT Hotline 319-384-3673.

Iowa Museums Archives and Libraries Emergency Response Team provides a hotline service to cultural institutions experiencing an emergency or disaster.

The IMALERT Hotline can connect staff with the information and expertise needed to respond to, and recover from any level of incident from a leaking pipe to a major flood.

IMALERT is an initiative of the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium (ICPC) http://www.iowaconserveandpreserve.org/

Contact: iowa.conserveandpreserve@gmail.com

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