How to Dry Out Water Damaged Belongings


Floods are indiscriminate in what they affect. Your books, important documents, furniture, records, and valuable electronics are all fair game when it comes to water damage. Even your flooring and walls can suffer long-term problems if not properly cleaned and dried. Professional water damage restoration is the best way to return your property back to normal, but there are plenty of things you can do in order to save your books, papers, and electronics.

What to do When Water Damage is in the Home

When you have a leak or flood, stopping water from doing further damage to the property should be the first priority. Next, call a water cleanup specialist. If you’re wondering who to call for water damage, look no further than Tidal Wave Response. Our emergency hotline is open 24/7 so that you can get the help you need no matter the time of day.

If it is safe to do so, move your valuables to dry ground, higher ground, or outdoors to begin the drying process. Proper water cleanup is crucial in order to restore your belongings and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. The techniques for drying will vary depending on the item.

Drying Out Books, Papers, and Magazines

water damage restorationIf you are in a rush and have other water damage to attend to, you can put your books into individual plastic zippered bag and place them in the freezer. This helps stop the damage and give you time to prepare a proper drying process.

When it’s time to dry your books, don’t use artificial heat. As tempting as it is to turn on a space heater, this will only cause book leaves to distort. Instead, try this three-step process:

  1. Very Wet Books: Do not open the book or try to spread the pages. Place the book in a well-ventilated room and stand the book on its end on top of an absorbent surface such as a towel or several sheets of paper. Change the paper or towel regularly. When the book has dried somewhat, move to the next step.
  2. Partially Wet Books: Lay the book flat, carefully open the pages, and place paper towels every 15 – 20 pages. Change the paper towels every hour or so. Move to the next step when your book is damp.
  3. Damp Books: At this point, your book should be mostly dry and cool to the touch. Stand the book on its end and fan the leaves out. Use a fan to circulate air around the books. When your books is almost dry, lay the book flat and place a weight on top, leaving it this way until the book is completely dry.

water damage restorationIf you have single paper documents, lay them in a single layer on an absorbent material such as towel and allow them to air dry. Magazines may be dried by hanging them in a ventilated area on a clothesline or fishing wire.

If antique family heirlooms or photographs have been damaged, you may need to consult a conservator about the best way to restore your valuables.

For more information, the National Archives offers this guide on how to salvage flood-damaged papers.

Drying Out Wet Electronics

Electronics are tricky to dry, and they still may not work depending on what components may have been damaged. They have many small parts, which means that even if it appears dry from the outside, there may still be water inside that can short out your device when it is turned on.

  1. water damage restorationFirst, take apart your device if possible and allow to air dry for several days.
  2. Place the device in a room with a dehumidifier and turn on a heater. Alternately, place the pieces of your device into a sealed container along with several packets of desiccant. Place the sealed container in a room with a dehumidifier.
  3. Do not put your items into an oven or use a hair dryer, as the extreme heat from these can damage internal components
  4. You may need to wait up to a week before powering on your device again.

If your device does not turn on after following these steps, you may need to have your device repaired under warranty or replace the device altogether.

Home Water Damage Restoration

Depending on the extent of water damage in your home, you may have a range of belongings to worry about, especially when sewage is involved.

When water is leaking into your home, call Tidal Wave Response! Our friendly and experienced specialists can quickly assess damage to your home and recommend a no obligation restoration plan.

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