A fire in the sacristy of the Church of the Immaculate Conception caused extensive smoke damage throughout the sanctuary. The entire space was staged to provide hand contact with all the surfaces from the floor to the sixty foot ceiling. While dry erase sponges completed the cleaning of the wood roof beams and trusses, our task was the the religious mural conservation and cleaning, as well as restoration of the polychrome sculpture and gold leaf decoration. The sheer size of the space offered a significant challenge to our team, to be able to reach and keep track of the surfaces to be treated.
Removal of the layer of soot was very important, due to its caustic properties, which would, over time, erode the old and porous paint films. Using a non-ionic detergent applied with cotton balls, rinsed with water and dried with soft towels, we completed the cleaning of the religious artwork and gold leaf decoration in the entire sanctuary.