Hurricane Florence brought almost 36 inches of rainfall to some east coast towns, and the flooding is only worsening as an estimated eight trillion gallons of water found its way to local rivers and creeks. After residents return to their homes, the inevitable part of floodwater removal and damage analysis will occur. For most people, the recovery of family keepsakes becomes a priority after a home’s interior has been turned upside-down which is where the focus should be.
Leave Recovery To The Experts
It is an overwhelming feeling the first time you walk back into your home after a catastrophic storm. What you need to keep in mind is that time is critical as mold and poor air quality follows flooded homes. You need to prioritize your available time so that you save the things that are most precious. Do not sweat the small stuff like furniture and bedding as those are areas that the professionals will be able to assist you with. Moreover, they are not things that cannot be replaced, so go for the valuables and the sentimental items that are irreplaceable.
Step One: Remove Items Carefully
Always remember that wet items are extremely fragile. Remove pictures from wet albums and frames. If you have damaged artwork, you should also remove them from the frames. Do not forget to check books as they are also salvageable. Use white paper towels between the pages or spread them out so the pages get direct air flow. Never let paper items touch each other as they will stick during the drying process. If you have a clothesline and drying pins, it will assist in hanging each picture separately.
Step Two: Air-Dry Went Items
If the weather permits, it is best to move all items outdoors. If this is not an option, you can use fans and dehumidifiers. Never use heat (directly or indirectly) as it will have an adverse effect on your possessions that will cause lasting damage. If you are unsure, ask flood professionals for assistance since there are techniques that will reduce the risks.
Step Three: Clean Items Gently
Gently wash each item with soapy water. For items that have caked dirt or debris, it will be helpful to use a soft-bristled brush or a cloth. Do not rub dirt harshly as it will stain.
Step Four: Dispose Of Wet Debris
If the time permits, you should remove any wet debris from the home to avoid the likelihood of mold and mildew growth. Remember to document everything before discarding insured items as your adjuster will want to see the damage. Use garbage bags to sort waste outside if you are afraid of disposing of it before the adjuster arrives. Also, separate recyclables, hazardous waste, appliances, and salvageable materials.
RestorePro has been serving New England families and businesses for two decades. If you find that you are unsure of how to proceed after you experience a flood, give us a call at 1-800-847-0114. You can also contact us or learn more on our Facebook page.