The Heritage Center, which is part of the Homestead National Monument of America, suffered water damage recently when a water main broke and flooded the lower level of the building with an inch or so of water. The flooding was discovered by police when the water set-off the building’s alarm system. The cut-off switch did not turn the water off and staff had to turn it off manually.
The center is home to thousands of artifacts from the time of the American homestead. Volunteers, contractors, and staff have been working around the clock to try to remediate the wet artifacts and dry out the building. The Beatrice Daily Sun reported the following:
“An assortment of Shop-Vac machines, fans, dehumidifiers and plastic barriers were scattered throughout the building Saturday morning as crews scurried to preserve not only exhibits and artifacts, but also dry the building’s carpet, walls and other items.
Homestead staff divided artifacts into eight categories for assessment purposes: Books, wood, medal, leather, framed art, archival boxes, paper archives and photographic archives.
…Included in the early damage reports, approximately 255 books had water damage and 101 wood objects had been touched by water.”
Artifacts and books are sacred to sharing the events of history and it only takes a little bit of water to damage these valuables.
More on restoring wet books.