Diary of a House Elf… mould monitoring!

If you have visited us before you may have heard about the ongoing battle we have with white, furry mould attacking our books in the library. It gets so bad that we have to suit up like characters from CSI with white overalls and masks to clean them. The cleaning has to be done inside a special piece of equipment called a fume hood. This extracts the mould spores as they are brushed off the books so that we don’t inhale them. In 2011 it took us the full 12 months to remove the mould from all of the books.

mould 1

mould 2To help us find out why our books get so mouldy we have bought a new gadget that measures the temperature and humidity (the amount of water in the air). We already have one of these white sensors in the library but we are putting the new one actually behind the books in one of the bookcases. We hope to be able to compare the data from the room sensor and the bookcase sensor to find out if there are any differences or patterns. This might tell us why the mould is such a problem.
We can then put together a plan to try and reduce the mould in the future.

This image shows the readings from the library sensor in April 2013.


The blue line (top) is humidity and the red line is temperature. You can clearly see the temperature going up each day when the heating is turned on in the house. You can also see that as the temperature rises the humidity comes down. The ideal is to have the humidity consistently between 50-65%.

Julie, Chief House Elf


One thought on “Diary of a House Elf… mould monitoring!

  1. Strange you should mention this, last thursday a visitor (employed by the British Library) asked me what we were doing about the humidity as he could not see the relevant equipment to control humidity which was critical in a library full of damp old books!
    Brian B Wood- Thursday room guide

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