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Salvage and Recovery Services
Maps & Prints


Maps, blueprints, and architectural drawings pose special salvage challenges. Time is critical and it is very important to insure that all possible steps are taken in advance to prepare for restoration, shipment, and recovery.

Again — time is of the essence! Depending on the temperature, climatic conditions, and the nature of the contamination of mold, which can begin to form very quickly if nothing is done. Or worse, the paper itself can begin to decompose and render it unsalvageable.

Planning for Recovery of Blueprints, Architectural Materials, Maps and Prints

Blueprints, maps, architectural drawings, and other large-scale paper documents pose significant restoration problems due to their size and fragile nature. It is essential to decide in advance how your large, wet documents will be moved from their storage space to a freezer, what items should be on hand to support stacks of wet materials, and what type of container will be used to safely ship the various stacks of wet and dried items back and forth.

Early Response Tips for Recovering and Drying Large Documents and Maps

Careful attention to the response tips given below will help Document Reprocessors successfully recover your water-damaged architectural documents and maps using Vacuum Freeze-Drying.

  • Handle and transport wet materials very carefully to avoid additional damage.

  • Do not attempt to separate wet drawings or maps; wait until they are dried.

  • Support individual flat drawings on cardboard, or wood framed window screen made up on site. If materials are stored in a map case, consider using the drawers for support and moving.

  • Support rolled drawings in sections of PVC pipe or cardboard tubes.

  • Place groups of hanging drawings on clean, heavy cardboard and interleave cardboard between each set.

  • Freeze all wet materials within 48 hours to prevent mold growth.

  • Low temperature blast freezers give smaller ice crystals and better end results.

  • Call our office for help with shipping and scheduling.


Note: Carol Turchans’ excellent article provides worthwhile reading on this subject: The Chicago Historical Society Flood: Recovery Analysis Two Years Later (Book and Paper Group Annual 1988 AIC).

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