Document Drying Tips
Water damage to your Florida house does not affect the home’s structure only. There are numerous valuable assets that water could damage, including essential paperwork, documents, and records. Most people believe if any of their document is damaged, it is destroyed for good. Well, that is not the case. There are numerous ways to restore your documents. However, you need to note that saltwater damage affects the same documents differently from freshwater damage. Understanding how various forms of water impact documents could help you implement the appropriate document recovery method as you await the professionals.
What Documents Could be Saved
Some of the water-damaged documents that could be saved using different methods include:
- Manuscripts and books — Maps, coated papers, parchment, drafting linens, reference books, textbooks, manuals, and standard copy papers
- Personal/Business documents and records —Certificates, contracts, transcripts, passports, tax records, medical records, legal/company/bank file, architectural drawings and plan, and reference materials
- Historical items — Rare documents, maps, money collection, stamp collections, and archival documents
- Artwork —Linen drawings, acrylic paintings, and watercolors
- Keepsakes —Wedding albums, baby books, scrapbooks, cards, recipe books, photographs, hide and leather items, and newspaper articles
Effect of Fresh Vs. Salt Water Damage on Your Documents
The most significant damage with documents is bacterial and mold growth, which is apparent in less than forty-eight hours following the flood. On top of being dangerous to your health, mold could stain documents and make them yellow. The waste leaves a musty odor.
Since the documents and papers are absorbent, water usually makes pages stick together and paper warp.
Should water affect your photographs and films, the materials and images degrade, and within no time, the chemicals and components within the film will breakdown.
When saltwater-damaged documents dry on their own, warping is more pronounced. Additionally, the corrosive nature of salt might damage your films and photos. After the salty water dries on the document, it leaves coarse salt crystals that could scratch the document’s surface if not well removed.
A document damaged by freshwater isn’t as prone to mold damage and growth as that damaged by saltwater.
Different Document Drying Techniques
One of the best steps to take after flooding is contacting an experienced document restoration company, mainly if the flooding water had sewage.
If this water does not have sewage, here are steps you could take to prevent further damage as you await the professionals.
- Freeze them— Allow water to drain from your documents. Stick them to plastic bags before freezing them. If you have enough space, you could also place butcher paper or paper tower between pages and put the documents upright in your box or crate.
- Move your documents to another room.
- Be cautious with films and photographs—If your wet films and photos have adhered together, you can submerge them in water, so they separate naturally. Interweave your documents using a paper towel to stop re-adhesion. Then allow them to air dry.
- Air-dry— If you don’t have a freezer, take your documents to a separate space. Interweave the pages using a butcher paper or paper towel, loosely put them in a crate, and then let a fan run in your room. If you have few documents, you can hang them carefully from lines.
If saltwater damaged your documents, rinse them with fresh water to remove the salt. Remember to be cautious with photographs and films since the abrasive crystals could result in more damage. Then follow the techniques mentioned above.
Water damage occurrences like flooding could be frustrating, especially when films, photographs, documents, and valuable items are involved. Fortunately, all is not lost. Just ensure you know the difference between salt water and fresh water damage and contact a qualified water damage restoration expert.
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