5 Hacks for Salvaging Items from a Home with Flood Damage

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A flood can occur in your region at any time, and you need to know how to salvage your possessions as quickly as possible. Remediation experts have determined that there are several ways to save certain types of materials, but you must work as fast as possible to avoid secondary problems such as mold growth or mildew odor. There are a variety of things that become water-soaked during a flood, and you will need to choose the most important items first to begin removing the moisture.

1: Paper
If you have valuable paper items that are soaked with water, then work quickly to salvage these items. Simply picking up a water-soaked photograph or document can ruin it because it disintegrates rapidly. Instead of picking up these items at the corners, you must use a flat and thin item such as a spatula to lift the paper gently from the water. Next, place the paper on blotting paper that is designed to absorb water. If you don’t have blotting paper, then substitute white paper towels. Make sure that the air in the room is circulating, but don’t have fans blowing directly on the paper.

2: Clothing
When water floods a bedroom closet or laundry room, all of the stored clothing will mingle together. First, separate the white and dyed clothing into separate piles to avoid color damage. To keep the brightly colored clothing from bleeding dyes onto lighter colors, you must sort the items again. If you have access to a washer and dryer, then begin to wash the clothing in separate loads, beginning with the lightest colors first. Make sure to add bleach to lighter color clothing to remove pathogens. Drying clothing at a high temperature can destroy the mold and germs. However, you may need to hang up some clothing to dry instead.

3: Wood
Water-soaked wood flooring, cabinets or furniture require immediate remediation to save the items. “When moisture seeps into wood, the material begins to warp, and it may also begin to lose its varnish, dyes and stain,” said Paramount Restoration LLC. Wood can absorb the pathogens in water, leading to materials that develop mold or mildew. After the wood dries, you will need to examine the piece of furniture or cabinet carefully to determine if nails or screws are loose. In addition, you might need to glue joints to ensure the item remains in one piece. If the wood item has lost its varnish, paint or stain, then you must protect the wood surfaces with new applications of stain, paint or varnish.

4: Carpeting
Wall-to-wall carpeting will absorb flood water immediately, and you want to work quickly to save this expensive item. You must rent water extraction machines to suction the water from a carpet’s fibers. In most cases, the water from a flood will soak through to the underlying padding and floorboards. To clean up the water from underneath carpets, you must lift the carpets from the surface by removing the tacks. If you live in an area where there are water remediation companies, then you can roll up the carpeting to take it to a warehouse where it is dried inside a machine.

5: Drywall
Most homes have walls and ceilings that are made of drywall, and this material is damaged easily by the water from a flood. First, you need to improve the air circulation in a home to increase natural water evaporation. Use as many circulating fans as possible to help the moisture evaporate. If the house has a high humidity level, then rent a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the air. You can also rent extraction machines that are designed for removing moisture from the walls and ceilings.

Protect yourself during a Flood Cleanup
To avoid exposure to pathogens, make sure to wear protective clothing, including gloves, boots and suits. If your home has a musty odor, then use respiratory devices to avoid breathing dangerous fumes. You should also protect your eyes from any debris that is floating in the air to prevent allergic reactions. Verify that it is safe to work inside a house that has had a flood to avoid falling through damaged flooring or working around wet electrical wires.