Freeze drying

Water damage to paper. Water damage to books often has horrible effects: pages stick together, parchment turns horny and cracks, the block is deformed and ink and stamps smear until illegible. Paper swells, binding and covers are damaged, mould forms. Water-damaged paper objects demand quick action. We will help you not only with drying or fighting mould, but also with recovery after disasters and organisation of logistics.

Health danger from mould. When paper becomes wet, we must act quickly. Moisture permits very quick growth of mould since the paper's cellulose is the perfect nutrition for these spores. Often, just a few days of moisture will suffice for mould to spread.

What to do when paper has gotten wet? In case of disasters, books and archival material must be frozen professionally at once! Mould cannot grow at minus 20°C. We carefully wrap strongly deformed books before freezing to recover the original shape during freeze-drying. This preliminary work much reduces the subsequent restoration effort, which keeps costs lower.

How does freeze-drying work? Freeze-drying causes water to sublimate. This means that water passes from the solid, frozen state directly to the gaseous one. Ice escapes from the paper without turning liquid again. This prevents any further damage from repeated swelling, inks will not run and colours will not continue to bleed.

As compared to drying procedures using high heat, there will not be any further damage while drying.
Books are enclosed in a vacuum chamber for freeze-drying. The air pressure of usually about 1,000 millibar is reduced to less than 6 millibar. The ice escapes into this vacuum without liquefying, leaving the books completely dry.

Profit from our experience! We gained it, among others, during our deployment in disasters like the Elbe flood in 2002, the fire catastrophe in the Herzogin-Anna-Amalia library in Weimar in 2004, the collapse of the historic city archive in Cologne in 2009 and the 2011 flood in Bangkok.

Our emergency hotline in Germany is:
+ 49 (0) 341 25989-25.

In case of emergency, we are available to you around the clock under the emergency number. We will offer initial advice for quick protection of your documents. Our experts can collect your affected stock within a few hours and help you plan accident logistics.