Keepsakes And Water Don't Mix: 4 Strategies For Saving Flood-Damaged Items

If your home's water pipes break in the dead of winter, you could have a huge problem. Water flowing from a burst pipe can flood your home in minutes, leaving you will extensive water damage. In fact, the largest expense related to burst pipes is the cost for cleanup and restoration. The cost for cleanup can range from $5,000 all the way up to $70,000. This amount does not include the cost of replacing items lost during the flood, such as furniture and other belongings. Many items cannot be replaced at all. Some can be salvaged, however, if you are quick and smart about it. The following are four strategies for saving flood-damaged items. 

Photographs and Scrapbooks

To salvage photos, you must get to them within the first 48 hours after the flood. Do not allow photos to dry out on their own. First, store them in plastic bags until you can clean them. Fill a flat tray with cold, distilled water. Rinse photographs for no more than 10 minutes, and hang them to dry with a clip. You can also dry photos flat on blotter paper or cheesecloth. Do not rub or scrub at photos. If debris needs to be removed, send your photos off to have them restored. 

CDs and DVDs

Most CDs and DVDs can be cleaned and repaired with a compact disc repair kit. Basically, you spray each disk with distilled water and place the disk in the repair device. Spin the disc in the device for the specified amount of time before buffing away excess water with the cloth provided. If your discs are still heavily damaged, you can purchase a protective plastic sleeve that will allow your disc readers to read the material on the disc. You can also have discs professionally restored. 

Clothing and Plush Items

It's vital that you remove as much water as possible from clothing and plush stuffed animals as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. You can blot the items with absorbent materials or squeeze the excess water out. Rinse items with clean water and/or launder items if possible. Lay each item out flat or hang to dry. Never stack items on one another. 

Knick-Knacks and Ceramics

Knick-knacks are fairly easy to clean after a flood. Simply rinse them with clear water and blot them clean with a sponge. Place the items on a dry towel in a well-ventilated room to dry. 

For several days after the incident, check your items for further signs of damage and mold. Do not enclose items or store them until several days have passed to ensure that they are completely dry. 

For additional information on how to recover after a flood, contact a company like Redeeming Restoration.