Hurricane Sandy: What You Can do to Curb the Effects of Water Damage

Severe water damage at the Verizon Building in New York is evident in this once beautiful ceiling mural.

Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the buildings of New York City has been profound. In architecturally significant interiors, murals, decorative painting, plaster, and other elements can be damaged by changes in environmental conditions such as water infiltration and fluctuations in temperature and humidity. These photographs of the Verizon Building help show the devastation that water damage can have on our city’s beautiful buildings.

Rising damp, migration of salts, the formation of micro-climates, and material failures can manifest themselves in the form of delaminating paint, plaster, and canvas; mold growth; efflorescence; cracking; and granular disintegration. Time is of the essence in treating water-damaged murals and finishes; it is easier to curb the spread of mold growth now than it is to treat it after attack down the road.


Above, conservator Kumiko Hisano assists in the restoration of the vast ceiling murals at the Verizon building, then the finished restoration beneath.

EverGreene is currently providing complimentary site visits to advise on emergency stabilization measures.  EverGreene conservators are available to assess and treat murals, decorative finishes, and architectural elements that have been damaged by the storm.

If your building has been damaged by the hurricane & resultant floods, please contact Amanda Stauffer Park at apark@evergreene.com.

EverGreene has a team of five Professional Associates with the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), and a large staff of conservation technicians experienced in the stabilization and treatment of murals and architectural arts in situ and off-site in our Manhattan studio.

EverGreene’s plaster and painting restoration divisions have skilled craftsman on call for repair of ceilings and walls.

Before restoration, Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York showed devastating damage to plaster and painting finishes.

EverGreene’s technical assistance and field services have been supported by grants from the City and State agencies, including the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., and by organizations including the New York Landmarks Conservancy. EverGreene is a member of the Association for Preservation Technology International.

If you are part of a small organization, such as a theater or gallery, you may be eligible for emergency business relief from the Small Business Authority or FEMA. For advice on navigating this process, please consult the following guide from Heritage Preservation:  www.heritagepreservation.org/federal/index.html