…has been another busy one.
Monday started with a job in the Ballroom. Last week it was noticed that there had been a leak that had come through to the Ballroom ceiling. Thankfully the source was found quickly, but we needed to inspect the ceiling to ascertain how much damage has been caused. So an hour or so and 5 people later we had erected the scaffold. Luckily the damage looks worse than it is. Tha plaster isn’t flaking and seems sound. It is just stained with water marks, and because of the high levels of relative humidity mould has grown fairly quickly.
I had a go at trying to remove some of the mould with a smoke sponge*, which I thought might be more effective than a hogs hair brush and easier to do working at height. I tested a small area and it did the job. The mould came off quite easily, but the water staining is still visible. There wasn’t time to clean off all the mould, so we will continue to monitor the ceiling and providing much more doesn’t grow we will wait till the winter clean when the scaffold will be put up in the Ballroom again to clean the rest of it.
Graham Marley, our furniture conservator, also came to do a list of odd jobs for us. Among making some repairs to a couple of chairs and helping Siobhan (our project / property conservator) and I re-fix a window pane, he glued back some bits of panelling that had fallen off.
Every week we collect up pieces of panelling that drop off. Due to the unstable levels of relative humidity, over time the animal glue used to attach the smaller detailed pieces of paneling fail. Graham cleans off the old glue and sticks them back up again using animal glue.
On Tuesday Melinda and Sarah deep cleaned the Billiard Room and re-waxed the floors in the Brown Gallery and Lady Betty’s rooms for the last time this season. The rest of week is mostly just daily cleaning before we open to visitors.
*The smoke sponge is made of vulcanized natural rubber, used for dry cleaning, they will effectively remove soot and smoke damage from wallpaper, painted metal and wood surfaces, fabrics and a number of additional surfaces. As I discovered this week, also good at removing mould from plaster!