Can I Save My Belongings After a Flood? Read These 7 Simple Tips

While rain is not always the source of floods, heavy and prolonged rains are the primary reason. You can experience flooding, especially if you are surrounded by rivers, dams, or drainage basins. In some cases, a burst pipe can also be the culprit.

Imagine if you’re faced with severe residence damage? After saving your family, you have to handle your valuables. However, this can be a race against the clock, considering that mold can form in the next 48 hours. Here are tips for how to save what you want and get rid of what can’t be:

1. Determine the Type of Water that Got Into Your House

The first thing you should do is to determine the type of water you’re dealing with. Is it dirty, salty, or contaminated with sewage or harmful chemicals? If your possessions have come in contact with dangerous water, you may need the help of professionals, such as PuroClean Woodinville, if you’re in the area. Recovering and cleaning them yourself may be hazardous to your overall health. If the water is untainted, try to minimize the moisture around your belongings as you clean and dry them.

2. Prioritize Your Belongings

It’s almost impossible to save everything after the flood, so focus on what is most necessary to you, whether for money or sentimental reasons. Though your insurance plan can replace all the expenses of your affected belongings, some are not irreplaceable, such as shoeboxes, photo albums, receipts, and legal documents.

3. Dry the Inside of Your Home

Even after eliminating all of the standing water inside your home, everything remains wet, especially if the rain increases the moisture in your place. Air drying is always the best option if the weather permits. Open all your windows to allow indoor airflow.

Otherwise, use fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. Avoid using hairdryers, ovens, irons, and continuous exposure to sunlight, resulting in permanent damage.

4. Arrange Your Possessions and Manage with Care

Separate soaked from dry products. For example, eliminate photos from wet photo albums or take paintings and prints out of their frames. Also, be sure to place white paper towels between every few pages of wet books you want to recover. Most importantly, wet items can be fragile, so handle them with care. 

Numerous remediation companies provide pack-out services to assist you in recovering your belongings and ensure their quality. Make sure to check their website if they offer these services.

5. Clean Carefully

Use soft fabrics and brushes to loosen up dirt and debris on vulnerable items. Prevent rubbing that can crush dirt. For porcelain, use a dry cloth to remove any dust and then use a small, soft-bristled brush to extract dust from crevices and small openings.

Thoroughly rinse photographs in clean water. Then, air-dry them on a paper towel or plastic screen by hanging them with plastic clothespins. Avoid letting the image come in contact with other surface areas when it’s drying.

6. Keep Valuables and Get Rid of Damaged Items

Immediately throw out objects and items that cannot be saved. Place them in open, unsealed bags or boxes. If you can’t attend to your things in two days, you can place them in the freezer for cleaning later on.

Generally, you can freeze some things that can not be dried in 48 hours, including documents, fabrics, photos, and books. This prevents molds from growing and dyes from moving. It can even let you do other important things.

7. Dispose of the Particles

Dispose of wet things from your home as quickly as you can return to your house after the flood. Instead of waiting on your insurance agent to document the damage, you can do it yourself by taking pictures and videos. According to professionals, you can sort out your things into the following categories:

  • Hazardous household waste. Paints, batteries, and cleaning supplies
  • Vegetation debris. Plants, leaves, and tree branches
  • Bagged household garbage. Packaging, food, and paper
  • Building materials. Drywall, carpeting, mattresses, furniture
  • Electronics. Computer, TV, and stereo equipment
  • Large appliances. Water heaters, air conditioners, and refrigerators