FEMA's Checklist for Saving Water Damaged Contents
Water loss can disrupt your life in ways that aren't often thought about. Obviously it may require you to hire a professional mitigation or restoration company in order to save the building, but what about all of the contents inside of the building? Do you need to hire a professional to salvage those too? Well, in a lot of cases, water damaged contents do require restoration from a trained professional, but there are things that you can do as well to save a lot of the valuables in your home.
Saving these valuables can be a race against the clock as mold can begin forming as soon as 48 hours after contact with moisture FEMA has created a checklist to follow when you are trying to clean water damaged contents but the very first thing that you must do is determine what kind of water you're working with. Contaminated water may require help from a professional as the item that came in contact with the contaminants will need to be thoroughly sanitized. If the water was untainted, however, follow these steps to help restore your waterlogged valuables.
- Prioritize. Not everything may be salvageable which means you need to choose the items that are most important to you and go from there.
- Air Dry. Gentle air drying could work wonders. Use fans, air conditioners, or dehumidifiers to control the moisture. Avoid using hair dryers, ovens, irons, or setting items in direct sunlight as this could do irreversible damage.
- Handle With Care. As I'm sure you already know, wet objects are fragile. That means that you have to be extra careful with them. Remove sodden items from the surface of photos, artwork, and any paper materials. You may also place paper towels in between every few pages of books or magazines to absorb some of the moisture.
- Clean Gently. Gently loosen dirt and debris on fragile objects using a soft rag or brush.
- Salvage Photos. Carefully rinse photos under cool, clean water to remove remaining debris. You can then dry them by placing them flat on a screen or drying rack, or hanging them up by one of their corners with a plastic clothespin.
- Freese items that cannot be restored immediately. Placing items like books, photos, and textiles in a freezer until you're able to clean them will prevent bacteria and mold from growing. It only takes 48 hours for mold to start growing but it wont grow at all if the moisture is kept frozen before cleaning.
Try out these methods of cleaning if any valuable items come in contact with moisture. As always, if you have experienced a water loss in your home or business, SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties is here to help! We have the equipment and manpower necessary to mitigate a water loss of any size. We can be contacted 24/7/365 at 817-596-8714