When it comes to any sort of property damage, the first thing that comes to someones mind is to make sure nobody was hurt and everybody is okay. Next is to figure out what was lost and how to get back to normal. Whether it is water, mold or fire the question of what to keep and what to throw away is about more than just monetary value, it’s also about sentimental value. Below are suggestions from Blue River Restoration on what to throw away and what to save.
What to Throw Away
Porous items, such as carpet, linens, drywall and other similar items, that you find submerged in floodwater or covered with mold most likely need to be thrown away.
Non-valuable papers should be discarded after water damage. For irreplaceable items, such as your photographs or albums, you can try freeze-drying the items. Freeze-drying can increase the likelihood of success by placing paper items in the freezer as soon as possible. It is not a guarantee but it can help save them.
Food that has come in contact with floodwater or mold should be thrown out, including canned goods. Contaminated kitchen appliances may need to be replaced since cleaning costs often exceed replacement costs.
If your belongings have been wet for more than 24 to 48 hours or have signs of mold, even if they have dried out, you will probably need to discard them.
What You Can Save
Non-porous items don’t absorb water, making them relatively straightforward to clean. These include plastic, glass, tile, laminate, metal, and solid or sealed wood. Antibacterial soap and diluted bleach are effective methods for disinfecting hard surfaces.
If caught soon enough, you may be able to salvage clothing by laundering it as usual. This should wash out flood contamination and remove mold, but if the clothes have been discolored, laundering won’t help. Leather is difficult but possible to clean. Rely on a professional for the task.
Electronics and appliances that have experienced some exposure to moisture and mold may be restored if they weren’t fully submerged. However, water may still have damaged the electrical circuitry, even if all moisture and mold is removed. Relying on professional service is the best way to recover water-sensitive objects.
As a rule of thumb, if any items – porous or non-porous – have been wet for less than 24 to 48 hours and don’t have any detectable signs of mold growth, they may be salvageable.
How Personal Property Restoration Works
Before disposing of anything damaged by water or mold, we recommend consulting with a property restoration specialist to discuss what may be salvageable. DKI Services provides contents pack-out and storage, cleaning, deodorizing and more to restore as many of your belongings as possible to their pre-loss conditions. Our skilled technicians use specialized technology and procedures that restore the appearance, smell and structural integrity of your personal items as effectively as possible.