How To Salvage Valuables And Keepsakes From Water-Damaged Homes

Water damage can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. Beyond structural damage and potential health risks, the thought of losing irreplaceable keepsakes and valuables can be heart-wrenching. Fortunately, with prompt action and the right techniques, you can often save many of your cherished possessions. Here's how to go about it:

Prioritize Safety First 

Before diving into the salvage process, ensure the area is safe. Turn off electricity in water-logged sections of your home to avoid electrocution. Wear gloves, masks, and boots to protect yourself from contaminants in the water.

Act Fast but Gently 

Time is of the essence. Mold can start growing within a day or two in damp conditions. Begin the salvage process as soon as it's safe to do so. However, always handle water-damaged items with care, as they might be delicate or weakened.

Document for Insurance 

Before attempting to clean or repair items, take photos of the damage. These will be invaluable when making insurance claims. It's also a good idea to keep a list of damaged items, their approximate value, and any restoration costs.

Air Dry Items 

Lay out items in a clean, dry area, preferably outdoors with gentle air circulation. Avoid direct sunlight, which can cause rapid and uneven drying, leading to warping or discoloration. If outdoor drying isn't feasible, choose an indoor area with good ventilation.

Special Care for Photos and Documents 

Photographs, books, and important papers require special attention. Carefully separate any items that are stuck together. Rinse them gently with clean water and use blotting paper to soak up excess moisture. Allow photographs to air dry, face up, and keep books and documents standing on end with pages fanned out.

Textiles and Clothing 

Rinse fabrics with clean water to remove any contaminants. Allow them to air dry, and avoid wringing them out, which can damage delicate fibers. Once dried, textiles may require professional cleaning to fully restore them.

Electronics and Appliances 

Water-damaged electronics can be hazardous. Do not turn on or plug in wet devices. It's recommended to consult with professionals who specialize in electronic restoration. Often, the sooner you get them to a specialist, the higher the chance of successful data recovery and device restoration.

Water damage can be overwhelming, but remember that not everything soaked is lost. With prompt action, many of your valuables and keepsakes can be salvaged and restored. 

Contact a professional to learn more about water damage restoration