When it comes to your studio, a little uninvited water can wreak a lot of havoc. While recent extreme weather and approaching spring floods have put water on our minds, nature isn’t the only source of damage– a broken pipe, a damaged roof, or water from extinguishing a small fire can have devastating consequences for your artwork.
Here are a few steps to help protect your artwork from water and moisture damage:
- Avoid basement storage of art and valuables;
- Protect artwork from moisture from above and below by using heavy plastic or tarps to cover your work or raise valuables above floor level. If a storm or flood is imminent, consider moving them to a higher floor if possible;
- Keep gutters and drains unclogged;
- Check plumbing fixtures and sprinkler systems periodically and fix leaks;
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds;
- Assess your flood risk. The chances that your home or studio will flood may be higher than you think. FloodSmart.gov has resources, including flood maps for your area, to help you assess your flood risk;
- Install “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home and studio, and learn other basement flood prevention tips here.
Other important water damage information:
- Neither business insurance nor homeowners’ insurance covers damage from “rising water,” but flood insurance does. You do not have to live in a flood zone to purchase flood insurance; More information
- If you are affected by a flood, use the resources available in the Studio Protector section of the CERF+ website for disaster relief, clean-up, and salvage, including CERF+’s Salvage Mold-Damaged Artwork video;
- The site has more Artist-to-Artist Videos to help you think through what you would do if a flood was imminent;
- The Studio Protector section of the CERF+ website has a list of Disaster Specific Planning Resources.