From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Tom Fine started the thread:
> and for those of us without a vacuum chamber???
Is it OK to bake a damp/musty-smelling hardcover book to
> >>> dry it out? If so, is the "warm"
> >>> (about 130-150 degrees) setting in a conventional oven OK?
----- the damp can be removed in many ways - I have successfully used a
microwave oven after having interspersed all pages with split toilet paper
that went outside the edge. Heating in an oven is not good for hot-melt
binding, but obviously the paper will tolerate 351 deg. Fahrenheit.
----- there is virtually nothing you can do about mold spores - if the books
are re-humidified, they will grow fungi again. You can keep the books in a
chamber with saturated ethyl alcohol vapors (the drinkable alcohol) for a
fortnight - that will kill a lot, but not all. The British Institute of
Recorded Sound (when they were still that) had some moldy tapes irradiated by
electron (beta) rays, and that was efficient as well on spores.
----- we had a flood in the basement and many bound volumes of professional
journals were wet through. Fortunately the paper was of a reasonably non-
coated type, so the pages did not form a block. To dry them I stacked them
around our non-insulated boiler in the boiler room, and when black mould
(aspergilus niger) appeared on the edges, I hit them with a heatgun - I could
see the seeping water boil. Some colouring left, but no smell. Some buckling.
----- my wife has succesfully read and left moldy-smelling books in the
sunshine - they do not smell anymore!