When a property is facing water-damage, government officials, rescue teams and property specialists advise to take action quickly. Many types of personal property can be saved within 48 hours before more severe damage occurs.
When dealing with flooded property, first and foremost make sure YOU are safe before trying to save your property. Floods can be severely dangerous as they can result in danger of electrocution and falling power lines or trees. Also, when dealing with property floods, make sure you do not come into close contact with water containing sewage.
There are many ways to prevent further damage of personal property during an event of a flood. Please read the following tips:
- Carefully rinse photographs with cool, clean water and avoid touching them. Hang them with clips to air dry on non important areas or lay them flat on paper or material that will absorb the moisture.
- Remove paintings from frames and put them in a safe try place. Keep them horizontal and paint-side up to avoid touching the surface. Avoid direct sunlight.
- Rinse books if necessary. If they are damp or partially wet, stand book up on top or bottom edge with covers open to a 90 degree angle to air dry. If they are very wet, lay them flat on clean surface or on absorbent material.
- Air dry any important papers flat as individual sheets or in 1/4″ small piles with absorbent paper in between each wet sheet.
- Remove CDs and/or DVDs from their cases and bathe them in clean distilled water. Dry them with lint-free towels, insert them in new casing and make copies of each disc.
- Brush loose dried dirt off of clothing/fabrics. Rinse them thoroughly in cold water as soon as possible and repeat if necessary. Do not use hot water. Machine wash until dirt is completely rinsed out.
- Gently rinse/sponge the surfaces of wood furniture and let air dry.
- If upholstered furniture is an antique or high in value, consider getting a professional estimate on cleaning/restoring.
- Handle metal objects with gloves. Rinse, sponge, blot, and let air dry. If the metal has applied finish, do not clean. Let air dry.
- Rinse/sponge leather and rawhide (including shoes), with clear water to remove dried up dirt and blot to remove excess water with toweling or unlinked paper. Let air dry and brush the fur skins to keep them flexible.
- Rinse, drain and blot baskets to remove excess water. Stuff baskets with clean paper towels or cotton sheets to retain the shape and absorb stains. Cover with clean towels and let air dry slowly.
Remember, it is impossible to save ALL property from water damage, so be practical. Save property that is the MOST important to you. There are some property items that are highly recommended to be chucked away, such as upholstered furniture and mattresses. These items usually become contaminated and are impossible to properly dry from water damage.
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