On-Site Disaster Response for Collections

Recently we were called by a client and asked to respond to a large loss where our staff would have to work in a sterile and secure environment. For several weeks we worked in isolation as we recovered and processed millions of dollars worth of contents that had been affected by a Category 3 water loss. In this picture, Ross & Derrin are working in a secure, temporary clean room in an effort to salvage an ancient coin collection suffering from Category 3 water contamination. For you non-industry folks, that’s black water. When dealing with ancient artifacts, it is important that they not be “cleaned” – meaning that treatment should not remove original dirt, deposits, materials, or patina from the objects. Sterilizing these types of items exposed to black water without over-cleaning the artifact presents a unique set of challenges.

Many of the coins in the collection were thousands of years old. Care was taken to preserve the notations and recorded date which accompanied each coin. While the materials used to house the coins were not salvaged, all of the details which had been meticulously documented by the collector were saved, preventing countless hours of unnecessary research and documentation. Each coin was effectively sanitized without compromising the appearance or patina of the coin. After processing, the coins were tested using multiple laboratory grade testing including adenosine triphosphate or ATP tests. Confidence that the collection was not harboring harmful viruses, bacteria, and other microbes was of great importance to the owner.

In addition to our expertise in handling artwork suffering from fire and water damage, Carolina Conservation works nationwide to respond to catastrophic losses affecting specialty contents and high value personal property. Rapid response times and well executed disaster recovery plans are critical elements when we are working diligently to salvage valuable collections for our clients. What can we help you to save?