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Q: I have just found a mould object in my cupboard. What do I do first?

A: Seek professional advice if investigations reveal that you do indeed have a disaster

Always wear a dust mask that is rated for use with Mould, and gloves (nitrate or latex) when handling mouldy items. Many moulds are allergenic and produce chemicals that can irate the throat and lungs, or lead to illness.

If the mould appears to be actively growing attempt to stop its growth by drying object out. Place the object in a location that has good airflow, is not humid and has lots of bright light but not in direct sunlight. Sunlight is very effective at killing mould but unless done with great care can cause serious damage to the object through rapid dehydration. Keep an eye on the item to make sure it is not drying out too quickly because it can cause cracks or other similar damage. Once it has dried you can try removing the mould with a soft brush in a well ventilated area using a dust mask. However mould often causes staining so you may wish to consult a conservator or relevant heritage professional

Don’t use commercial mould remover products as they could damage the object.

Consult a conservator or relevant heritage professional.

Q: How do you stop mould

A: The best cure is prevention. Environments must have as stable a temperature and humidity as possible and be monitored regularly for the continued safety of the item.

Controlling mould requires good housekeeping procedures involving the maintenance of stable temperatures and relative humidity values (below 60% RH) and a clean, well ventilated environment.

Q Who do I get expert advice from to restore this mouldy work

A: You should contact a conservator for advice and possible repair.

Q: What is the best way to handle mouldy material

A: Use gloves, a dust mask and there is a risk of inhalation of fungal spores causing allergic reactions, sensitisation, and, a variety of diseases.

When handling suspect collections, wear a dust mask and wash your hands after handling them.

Be vigilant and if a leak or condensation occurs investigate the area and monitor for up to a month afterwards to ensure that mould has not started to grow again.


For further information you can download and print this helpful PDF.


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For a quick reference and disaster plan templates use the following links.

fire FIRE
flood FLOOD
earthquake EARTHQUAKE
pest PEST
mould MOULD


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The CDST has compiled a selection of examples of Disaster Plans and Plan templates




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