An older gentleman prized one particular wine in his collection: a vintage liberated from a provincial cellar during his service in wartime France. He displayed it proudly on his fireplace mantle under a lamp that highlighted the historic bottle’s dusty exterior. It didn’t look dirty to him. It looked beautiful because the coating held special memories and soil from a meaningful location. It did look dirty to the unskilled workers he hired to clean up after a flood. They polished it to a sparkle.
All restoration technicians encounter special possessions and environments that require thoughtful planning before work commences. Great care is needed in these circumstances to recognise these special situations, preserve them without causing further damage or devaluation, and plan their restoration carefully. Paul Davis evaluates every flooded property to identify areas like these:
- Libraries and antique book collections
- Computer rooms
- Heritage structures with aged wood components
- Indoor gardens/arboretums
- Historic memorabilia
- Cigar humidors
- Wine storage
“In these cases, we train our technicians to step back, determine their collective expertise and call in specialists if necessary,” says Sonny Bass, Technical Director for Paul Davis. “Just moving a wine collection may call for a qualified specialist because controlling humidity at all times is essential. We don’t expect our teams to be sommeliers but to know when they need specialised assistance.”
Paul Davis may retain experts to handle these types of special circumstances; quite often, these experts are local. Every Paul Davis location maintains a detailed list of experts on call – ready to handle all of the challenges listed above – most of whom have successfully worked with the team on previous disaster restorations. Additionally, local officials can be excellent sources of information. The local sheriff’s office can be tremendously helpful with, for instance, firearms.
With unique situations, Paul Davis technicians take care to communicate effectively with property owners, who are likely to be particularly distressed about valuable or personally meaningful items. The unskilled company who cleaned the historic patina off the wine bottle? That’s a great example of a regrettable failure to communicate properly with the owner.
Worried about how your special possessions will fare in a flood? Paul Davis is ready to prepare, respond, mitigate and restore at 1-800-661-5975.