At docusave, we differentiate between decontamination and cleaning. Cleaning is a process in which general, non-toxic impurities on surfaces are removed. We clean your objects at our site in Uetendorf. The specific cleaning technique chosen depends on how a material will react to a cleaning product, the type and extent of damage, the object’s condition and the strength of the cleaning products used. Avoiding additional harm is a key factor when making a decision. We also distinguish between “internal” and “external” cleaning. Contact us to learn more about the difference.
Quality control through biomonitoring.
The extent of surface contamination can be determined through an ATP/ATM test with a photometer, an instrument also used in hospitals and the food industry to test hygiene levels. In a matter of seconds, the photometer registers the degree of visible and invisible contamination through microbiological and organic residues; the results are given in “relative light units” or RLU. The upper limit in archives is 3,000 RLU. As a standard, docusave aims for values below 1,000 RLU after cleaning. As a quality assurance measure, we also record before-after measurements.
A stitch in time saves nine.
Mould loves to grow in the organic material found in books and paper, and it flourishes in conditions where impurities are combined with high humidity. Because impurities elevate the risk of infestation, it’s always a good idea to keep objects as clean as possible.
When objects are infested with toxic microorganisms like mould, bacteria or yeast, cleaning them isn’t enough. A decontamination with in-depth measures to protect, clean and restore your objects is needed.
Special treatment is required for records and documents, library holdings and artwork that are covered with harmful soot particles, ashes or residue from extinguishing water after a fire, or that are contaminated with heating oil, heavy metals or sewage. We have the necessary experience and know-how.