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FAQ Water Damage and Recovery Questions

busted water pipe gushing water


Overall, water based disasters or issues are one of the most common problems that we see, so we’ve put together a list of commonly asked questions and answers related to water based damage and mitigation. Hopefully, these will help answer some of your questions:

What are the best ways to secure my property after water related damage?

Lock and secure your property when not occupied to prevent looting. Keep in mind that alarms may malfunction if the electricity or telephone service has been interrupted.

How can I estimate the extent of the damage?

Start with a closer inspection of the property to assess the damage to the exterior. Only if determined safe, walk around the building and lot to observe and gather information. Mark the water levels on the walls for reference. Now enter the structure. Taking extreme precautions, start from the top and document the damage.

What are the electricity related safety rules after water damage?

There 3 basic safety rules:

  • Turn off the power to your home or business by disabling the main circuit breaker panel. Even if the neighborhood power grid is down assume all power lines are active and functioning.
  • Do not use regular household vacuums to remove excess water.
  • Do not use electrical appliances while standing on a wet floor.

Do I need to throw away all my kitchenware after a flood?

Not necessarily. Dishes, cooking utensils and food preparation areas can be sanitized, disinfected and then reused. Throw away wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers, since it’s nearly impossible to safely clean them.

What is air drying?

Air drying is the most common technique for dry out. Airflow will speed up evaporation by moving moisture-saturated air, allowing dry air to absorb moisture. This method is inexpensive drying since no special equipment is required. However, it is relatively slow.

My books where soaked in water. How can I salvage them?

Assuming your books were soaked in clean water for less than 24 hours and mold is not present, you will have to start by prioritizing salvage order: collection books and valuable books must be dried before all other books. The best method for paper drying is freezing. Insert the books into plastic bags and place in the freezer. To prevent pages from adhering to each other, place a baking sheet every 20-30 pages.

What can I do if I need to salvage my photos but I can’t get to it immediately?

If you cannot dry out your photos immediately, you can delay further damage from happening by freezing your photos. Start with rinsing them gently, then place your clean photos in a plastic bag (zip bags are recommended), place them in a container and put in the freezer. Be sure to consult a professional conservator before freezing any photos.

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