Tips for Preserving Personal Items After a Flood
Time is of the essence when it comes to safeguarding valuables submerged in flood waters. Mold formation can begin within 48 hours of immersion, and contaminated "black water" can carry dangerous chemicals and pathogens. It's a good idea for homeowners in Piatt and Dewitt counties to learn about content cleaning before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips on what can and can't be salvaged, and how to minimize damage to precious belongings.
Unfortunately, most porous materials that have come into contact with black water cannot be saved during the content cleaning process. This includes:
- Furniture items
- Carpeting and padding
- Particle board cabinets
- Portions of drywall or insulation that have been immersed.
Microscopic toxic chemical compounds and fungal spores can pose a serious risk to a home’s inhabitants. Non-porous items, on the other hand, may be able to be sanitized and kept.
Immediate Steps To Take After Storm Damage
Legal papers, photo albums, artwork and other precious items that cannot be replaced might be saved, especially if you act quickly to minimize further damage.
Papers, artwork and photographs should be separated and removed from albums and frames and placed on plastic screens or hung using plastic clothespins (contact with metal or other types of materials could cause irreparable damage). Photos can also be gently rinsed in clean water before drying. To salvage important books, insert a paper towel every few pages to soak up harmful moisture.
It is recommended that you air dry items indoors. Open windows, air conditioners, fans and dehumidifiers can all help to increase airflow and reduce drying times. Avoid using heat during this process, such as irons or hair dryers, as they can cause further damage.
If the black water contamination is especially severe, or if mold is already present, you may want to leave the bulk of your content cleaning to a professional flood restoration team in Piatt and Dewitt counties.
Give SERVPRO of Piatt/Dewitt Counties a call at (217) 935 2992. We are available 24/7 to service any of your damaged needs. (LB)