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Protecting your Art from Mold and Water Damage (Hey Rain, Don’t Even Van Gogh There!)

Published by 911 Restoration Miami on March 13, 2014 in category: Water Damage Restoration

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If you live in the greater Miami area and are a lover of fine art and original paintings by many of our local artists, you should be fully aware that our climate provides the perfect breeding ground for mold and home flooding. What with the high levels of humidity, our rainy season and hurricanes, proudly displaying artwork in your home can be risky. Most water damage Miami teams respond to hundreds of calls every year in which paintings, lithographs, antique maps, tapestries and other art forms are harmed due to water damage, mold or both. Although the best water damage Miami companies restore furniture in the event of a mold outbreak or home flood, most won’t even attempt to restore artwork, as this is a skill that requires specific training not provided in the industry of disaster restoration. With this in mind, it is vital that homeowners take in some careful considerations to help protect their art from the chaos that Miami’s weather can unleash.

Humidity and Mold

Art preservation relies heavily on humidity and temperature control. When humidity levels in the home grow high enough, mold has a greater chance of growing on canvas or paper causing it to deteriorate. But it isn’t just paintings that art collectors should work about; humidity can cause sculptures to crack, warp, erode and even change color tone. When rain and heat are combined together, the risk for mold is greatly accelerated. The best thing to do is start by ensuring your home is properly insulated. If your home is older you may need to get new windows that properly fit and that are designed to provide additional insulation. It would also be wise to invest in a room dehumidifier and temperature control system—your art work will thank you for it. But before you take these steps you might as well contact a local water damage Miami company and ask for a free mold inspection. If your home has a musty odor or gives off a damp feeling, there is a good chance you may already have mold even if it isn’t yet visible. Microscopic mold spores can be on your walls, drapes, floor or even airborne floating from one room to another. A thorough mold inspection followed by any removal should be conducted before you outfit your home to offer museum-like temperatures.

Water Damage

The last thing you want is to come home to a roof leak and discover that rain water has soaked that painting you picked up in Prague a few years back. Just ask most water damage Miami technicians what the most common causes of household water damage is, and they will say two things: weather and pipe bursts. Have a professional roofer inspect your roof for any gaps or cracks that may exist under shingles or tiles. When heavy rain comes, water may pool into these places and cause eventual leaking. Also have your plumbing inspected. Many Miami area homes have pipes that run through drywall, and all it can take is a burst to cause the drywall to bubble and dislodge your paintings into a pool of water.

Be on the Same Page with Your Insurance

When it comes to insurance most reputable water damage Miami teams work closely with their client’s insurance company to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible. However, when it comes to protecting art work you will want to check your policy for any flaws and possibly take out an additional policy if need be. Find a broker who specializes in insuring art work, as you don’t want to take a hit in the event of a home flood. In some cases even museums fail to protect their collections. In March of 2014 Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz revealed a performance audit of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy in which claims are made that the city failed to adequately protect its collection of more than 1000 works of art.  The report sites that damaged art pieces were present due to poor protection. Furthermore, damaged and stolen art was written off as a loss because it was not properly documented, categorized or appraised. Make sure to have your artwork appraised and insist your insurance policy acknowledges and agrees to coverage knowing the exact location you keep your art work.

Avoiding a Close Call with Your Warhol

When it comes to protecting your artwork from water damage and mold, there should never be any close calls so long as homeowners know how to better protect their home from taking on the brunt of household damage. However, if you put your best foot forward in safeguarding your home and artwork and a hurricane or pipe burst still causes damage, don’t wait to call a local water damage Miami team—or at least give them a call once your family members and precious works of art have been relocated to dry, safe areas.

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