One of the most heartbreaking things about water damage is how it damages or destroys precious mementos and valuables.
Here are things you can do in an effort to save your valuables.
Identify the Water
First, figure out what kind of water caused the damage. Try to determine whether it is dirty, salty, or sewage, which contains toxic chemicals and other biohazard risks.
If your items come in contact with toxins, check with a water damage professional as to how to manage restoration.
Lower humidity levels in the space with a dehumidifier as soon as possible
Salvaging Valuable Items
Here are some more great suggestions from FEMA as to how to salvage your irreplaceable items.
It’s not always possible to save each and every damaged item. If an item has been exposed to toxic water, it may be in your best interest to let it go.
If there are a lot of damaged valuables, decide which ones you absolutely must have and those you are capable of letting go.
Use a Gentle Touch
- Handle water-soaked items with great care.
- Remove wet photos from frames or albums.
- Clean photos with a clean water rinse, then dry on paper towel or hang on a line with plastic clothespins.
- Remove paintings and pictures from frames.
- Place paper towel sheets sporadically in between wet book pages.
Soft Cloths and Brushes
- Lightly and gently wipe any dirt from items with soft cloths and/or brushes.
- Never rub dirt away as this will grind it further into the items.
- Air drying is best because the less you handle saturated items, the better the chance of salvaging them. This is especially true with paper or photos.
- Protect the images in photos from contact with any other surfaces while air drying.
- Set up a designated indoor drying area to keep items away from heat and sunlight, which could cause further damage.
- Ramp up the drying process with fans and dehumidifiers.
Store items you can’t get to within 48 hours into the freezer to prevent mold, ink from running or dye transfer.
Freeze items such as photos, books, or other papers for cleanup at a later time.
Dealing with water damage cleanup can be overwhelming and take a good deal of time. But in the end, the potential of salvaging meaningful valuables is well worth the time and effort.
In Santa Rosa, RCS is here to take care of all your water damage cleanup and restoration needs.