Mold Threatens Rare Book Vault at Columbia University Library

Columbia University Rare Book Mold RemediationThe Damages:

  • An HVAC leak caused water damage to rare book vault
  • 1500 square feet of infected area containing 5000 volumes of rare books
  • Commercial carpeting and drywall inundated with mold
  • Microbial growth visible on the surfaces of the books

Maxons Response:

  • Work area placed under containment and negative pressure protecting the rest of the property from cross-contamination
  • Book stacks wrapped during demolition to prevent further contamination
  • Carpeting removed and flooring treated with an antimicrobial agent
  • Contaminated drywall removed, sub-surfaces cleaned, disinfected and encapsulated
  • All surfaces HEPA vacuumed, wiped and HEPA vacuumed again to remove mold spores
  • Worked with Columbia’s Book conservator to tailor a cleaning process for the rare books that would be effective and cause the least amount of damage
  • HEPA air filtration used both inside and outside containment areas
  • Commercial dehumidification units employed to control humidity level and return room to functioning, safe level

Rare books at the prestigious Columbia University were threatened by a severe case of mold contamination. MAXONS was called, and with our immediate response and sensitivity to the situation we were able to restore not only the space itself, but the irreplaceable books it housed.

“Thank you and your crew for doing such a thorough and professional job…I was delighted to discover that everyone from MAXONS was courteous, responsive, and more than willing to listen to my concerns about special handling of fragile items.”
Maria Fredricks
Head of Conservation
Columbia University