Roof leaks rain onto UH library books


POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Buckets, fans and dehumidifiers were placed in the University of Hawaii's Hamilton Library after leaks occurred during the rainy weekend.


;[Preview] UH Hamilton Library Suffers Heavy Rain Damage

After a rainy weekend another clean up is underway at the UH Hamilton Library.


Watch ]





  About 800 to 1,000 general reference and literature books as well as a few periodicals on the first and second floors of Hamilton Library were splattered with water. UH officials said serious damage to the books was averted by the swift response of the library collection disaster preparedness team and canopies that were already in place over collections to catch most of the rainwater.


“;It could've been way worse,”; said Kyle Hamada, a conservation technician in the library's preservation department.

Debris from a $1.8 million re-roofing project coupled with the heavy rain caused drains to clog during the rainy weekend, resulting in about 4 inches of standing rainwater atop the affected roofs. Subcontractor Oahu Roofing and Waterproofing Inc. is midway through the project on the library's second and third floors.

The project was to take place from June to mid-October in an effort to avoid the rainy season, but concern over the design of the insulation material was raised, delaying the project by two months. Re-roofing work is slated to be completed by the end of the year pending weather conditions.

During a routine check Saturday afternoon, library staff observed a slow leak in the middle of the ceiling on the second floor. A 30-gallon trash container was placed under the leak.

But by 10 a.m. the following day, the container was overflowing with rainwater onto the floor, prompting library staff to activate the disaster response plan. Leaks from the roof resembled a miniature waterfall, Hamada said.

Hawaii Restorative was called, and pumps were used to remove water from the floor. Fans and dehumidifiers were placed around parts of the library. Members of the library's disaster preparedness team hauled buckets of water from the trash container to the bathrooms.

“;It was kind of like you were on a sinking ship and you had to bail water,”; Hamada said.

Water was not pouring directly onto the books, but splashing off of the ground and hitting book covers. Damp books were taken to the preservation department to be dried. More than 100 of the soggiest books were placed in a confined area of the department to speed up the drying process.

All books are expected to be back on the shelves by the end of the week for student use.

Some ceiling tiles were damaged over the weekend. A damage estimate has yet to be determined, but UH officials say it is minimal compared with the $200,000 in damage caused by leaks that occurred at the library during a rainy weekend in the beginning of November. At the time, patchwork was being done to the roof of the third floor.

Library staff members have been putting up canopies in certain parts of the library over the past eight years to catch rainwater from leaks. “;Leaks have been occurring for that long,”; said Lynn Davis, head of the preservation department, adding that the re-roofing project is vital to protect cultural resources.

Though the library's disaster preparedness plan has existed for years, it was refined after floodwaters swept through the campus on Oct. 30, 2004, and soaked the Hamilton basement. The campus sustained $83 million in damage.








Wednesday, October 29, 2008


  A contractor set up dehumidifiers at Hamilton Library on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus after the roof leaked last weekend. The summary and story originally said that humidifiers were set up.