Paul Davis Restoration understands that your home is more than just a house – it also stores valuable and often times irreplaceable items. Once the immediate dangers of water damage have passed and you are able to safely get back into your home, you can start recovering your belongings.
Wipe down and dry wooden and metal furniture. Excess moisture can cause these materials to mold and corrode. If they are sitting on damp carpet, place something like blocks under the legs to lift them off the ground. This also prevents wood stain from ruining the carpet. If upholstered furniture was affected, your options may be limited as mildew and mold will form once the padding gets wet. In most cases, disposing it is recommended. Mattresses that were partially or completely submerged should also be disposed as it will attract mold, and floodwaters may contain sewage, pesticides, and other industrial chemicals.
Fabrics (clothing, bedding, rugs, curtains, etc.) that have been contaminated by water should be disinfected, washed, and dried. For clothing, separate your white and colored clothes as soon as possible to prevent staining. Use a hose to blast off mud from soiled waters before putting them in the washing machine. Use bleach on whites and a disinfectant such as Pine Sol on clothing that cannot be treated with bleach. Use the highest temperature settings on your washer and dryer to kill bacteria. If your washer and dryer were affected by floodwaters, you should thoroughly clean and disinfect them before use.
Books, Photographs, Documents
If you do not have time to immediately take care of paper items, place them in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer until you are able to. Place sheets of wax paper in between photographs and documents to prevent them from sticking together. When you have time to dry them, lay them on a towel and use fans to dry the sheets of paper. Avoid using space heaters to dry paper because it will cause the paper to wrinkle and distort.
After making sure your electronics are safely unplugged, wipe the exterior dry and take apart the components to let them air dry for several days. Use a dehumidifier in the room to help with this process. Do not attempt to turn on electronics that have been affected by water for at least a week. There may still be a chance the electronic devices may not work anymore, so you may need to check your warranty for the necessary repair or replacements.
While you may be able to care for some of your belongings, there is only so much you can do. We stress the importance of a proper cleanup because it affects not only your home, but your health. Be sure to contact Paul Davis Restoration and our licensed, trained professionals will help you with the rest.