To save valuables after water damage, it is crucial to keep your most important possessions in a safe place.
Water damage has become a daily part of owning a house, with various sources such as hurricanes, flooding, burst pipes, heavy rains, sewage backup, and leaky roofs causing destruction and damage to your property. The contents within your home, including drywall, carpets, furniture, and electronics, can also be affected by water damage.
In the event water damage has affected your valuables and priceless possessions, don’t lose hope. Below are some tips on how to save your valuables after water damage.
What To Do First
After an encounter with a disaster, the first thing that comes into our mind is to save valuables after water damage.
When working on objects that have been damaged by water, the first thing you have to do is to assess the water involved. Have your personal belongings damaged by salty, dirty, or contaminated water? If the water involved contains contaminants, it is necessary to put your safety first.
Coming in contact with contaminated water can put you at risk of having serious illnesses. Contact a water damage cleanup professional to deal with contaminated valuables.
But if you decide to handle it on your own, it is vital to put your safety on top. You must wear protective gear like disposable gloves, masks, boots, goggles, and, if available, a respirator.
How To Save Your Water Damaged Valuables
1. Prioritize What To Save
The most important thing you can do to save valuables after water damage is to act fast and determine which items can be restored. The quicker you take action, the more likely you will be saved from water damage.
Prioritize the thing that you value the most. They can be items that have monetary value or sentimental value.
2. Air-Dry Affected Possessions
Another way on how to save valuables after water damage is through air-drying. If possible, air-dry indoor to gently remove water from the affected items.
Suppose the weather permits, open windows, and doors to increase the airflow inside the room. Or, you may also set up fans, dehumidifiers, and air-conditioners to dry out the items.
Do not use hair dryers or expose items in the sun as too much heat can irreversibly damage items you want to save.
3. Clean Them Gently
Once your water-damaged possessions are almost dry, you have to clean them of dirt and debris. Use soft cloth and brushes to clean delicate items like photographs. As you clean your items, do not rub them to prevent grinding in the dirt.
This is one of the basic things to do to save valuables after water damage.
4. Discard What Cannot Be Saved
Water damage that was caused by natural disasters like flooding and storms can leave a lot of debris behind and cause severe damage to your personal belongings, making them challenging to restore.
However, when you decided to save valuables after water damage, choose the items that you want to restore and discard items that are broken and unsalvageable.
Doing this can also help professional restorers to have a clutter-free workspace while they save valuables after water damage.
Saving Water-Damaged Books And Important Documents
When any of your documents or books have not been submerged in water for a long time, you have a higher chance of salvaging them. To save valuables after water damage such as books and important documents, you may do the following tips:
- Carefully remove documents from water and rinse them with clean water.
- To dry them, place an individual sheet of the document on a plain paper towel and put them on a flat surface. Keep changing the towels to absorb as much water as possible.
- Saving water-damaged books may need more time and effort, but the process is almost the same. First, you have to place an absorbent paper between every twenty pages or so and lay the books flat to dry out.
- Regularly change the paper towel with a dry one to thoroughly dry the book.
- To speed up the drying process, set up a fan near the book but place it up and away.
- If the book or paper smells musty after drying it, keep it in a box, leave it open, and put it in a closed container with baking soda. Do not allow the baking soda to come in contact with the paper.
Saving Water-Damaged Photos
Another kind of valuables to save after water damage is the photos. We all value photos since it keeps a lot of memorable things that we had experienced in life. Thus, after a water disaster, we try our best in restoring those photos that are so important to us. When saving photos, you may do the following tips:
- When saving photos in a frame, remove them immediately when they are still wet. Otherwise, you might have difficulty removing them from the glass. When removing the photos, rinse the frame and photo with clean water and carefully remove the picture.
- After removing loose photos from the water, place them in a dry area. Be careful not to touch the surface.
- If they are dirty, clean them gently with clear, cool water. Change the water often.
- When done cleaning, you can lay photos facing up on a plain paper towel. Do not use paper towels with designs or newspaper to prevent absorbing the print on your photographs. Replace paper towels regularly.
- Dry the photos indoor, not under the sun.
- Place paperweight on every edge of a photo to avoid curling.
- If drying the photos cannot be done immediately, wash them thoroughly, and place them in a freezer. Place a sheet of wax paper between each photo. This will help you remove them easier later.
Contact Water Damage Restoration Professionals
Your valuables and other personal belongings won’t get exempted from getting damaged during a flood or a water event. It is indeed a difficult thing to do to save valuables after water damage. Yet, by using these simple steps, you can restore these possessions on your own.
However, in the event water damage has destroyed your furniture, drywall, and other structures of your home, call in water damage restoration professionals.
These professionals are equipped with advanced tools and equipment to restore damaged items. They also have experience restoring properties that have been damaged by a flood. If you are looking for a certified restoration company, trust Superior Restoration Company.
The team in our local office, Water Damage Riverside, is ready to help you bring back your home to its original condition. Call us today.