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Restoration of Hardcover Books Damaged by Soot

Before cleaning, all books should be inspected for secondary water damage and mold. If the value of the books is low, it may be more economical for the insured/insurance company to simply replace them, rather than pay for restoration services.

Basic Method - Lightly Damaged Books

  1. Air wash the book using either canned air or an air compressor while holding the book over an air scrubber.
  2. Using Absorene Wall Cleaner, erase any soot marks in the book.
  3. Vacuum any remaining dry soot and residue from the Absorene Wall Cleaner using a HEPA vacuum.

Advanced Method - Moderate/Heavily Damaged Books

  1. Remove protective jacket from book.
  2. Using Absorene Wall Cleaner, remove as much soot as possible from the exposed areas of the book.
  3. Using either Unsmoke Degrease-All or PRS Fire and Content Cleaner and rags, remove residue from the cover of book.
  4. Using a vise, clamp pages of the book together.
  5. Using medium grit sandpaper, remove the soot from the page edges.
  6. To re-dye page edges, use "Scripto" Fountain Pen Ink (available at stationery stores) and a cotton ball.
  7. The books can be deodorized by misting the interior of the pages with a solvent-based deodorant.
  8. If further deodorization is needed, books can be placed into an ozone chamber for a short period of time. BE CAREFUL to not weaken the glue holding the spine/binding together.
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