Water Damage – Broken pipe leaks at full pressure in house for 10 days

Can you image?! You are gone from the house on a trip and a water pipe breaks and leaks at full pressure into your house for 10 days. Actually, I have an even worst story! Thomas Kinkade’s Lake Tahoe weekend home had a water pipe break and ran full power in his house for months! The inside of the house became so saturated that the sheet rock peeled off the walls and, of course, the mold was out of control (We worked through the insurance company to take care of over 75 items).

Such were the woes of TWO separate families that called me last week!! The owner that I went to see had the presence of mind to not let the restoration company (ServPro) handle the cleaning of the artwork (in fact we are the subcontractor for several ServPro franchises that refuse to assume the liability directly of working on valuable items). I was called over to review the artwork and provide the insurance company, State Farm, with the reports and estimates for repair (art conservation treatments).

I’m pleased to report that State Farm handled the matter with utmost speed and efficiency and have been a blessing in the lives of the insured. Its been a real pleasure to work with these insurance professionals on this project. Here are some photos with some comments:

This whitening cannot be cleaned off the artwork... but can be eliminated.

This type of whitening of the paint cannot be cleaned off... it be can be eliminated. Inept restorers often damage the artwork scrubbing. But the whitening is due to the resins or oils in the paint being effected which can be reversed with appropriate solvents to reverse the whitening (regeneration)

Audry Hepburn's portrait was afflicted with mold on the back but the front looked fine. The mold needs to be killed, cleaned as well as possible (but stains will remain) and sealed, which will eliminate the smell and keep it from readily "reflowering."

About Scott Haskins

Scott M. Haskins has been a professional art conservator since 1975. He is also author of "How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster". He may be contacted at 805 564 3438
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