Damage as a result of fungal/mould attack can be devastating. They digest and break down the materials they feed on. In the process:
• Paper, textiles and wood etc become weak and eventually crumble away.
What Can Be Done To Control Fungi?
Preventing fungal spores falling on objects is impossible. In view of this we must concentrate our efforts on making the environment unfavourable for their development into a fungal colony. This can be done by controlling the relative humidity. If the relative humidity is maintained at a sufficiently low level – ie. below 70% – spores cannot germinate.
Steps that can be taken include:
• Move any items that are against damp walls or in contact with cold surfaces where the local relative humidity may be high enough to permit fungal growth. Even in a temperate climate external walls can become cold a damp.
• Ensure there is adequate ventilation in storage and display areas – in tropical areas breezeways are vital.
If A Fungal Outbreak Does Occur
• Isolate the affected material immediately – if possible place it in a plastic bag and seal the bag.