Should It Stay Or Should It Go? Deciding Which Items To Save And Which To Toss After A Flood

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If you are in the middle of a flooded basement situation caused by a river overflow, knowing which items to grab and which to ignore is helpful as it saves you precious time, possibly helping you salvage more of your items as a result. While it is best to have a water damage restoration service help you remove your belongings promptly, this is not always feasible when several of your neighbors are dealing with the same troubles. Here are some guidelines to follow when deciding which of your belongings to try saving first in a flood situation.

Clothing And Other Material Items

Cloth items may be salvaged if they are laundered before mold spores have a chance to grow on the material. Take all material items outdoors and rinse them down with a garden hose to remove any loose spores from each piece. Launder the material in a hot cycle with a water conditioner and disinfectant in addition to your regular laundry detergent. This will help kill off any mold spores. Also use the dryer to remove moisture rather than hanging the items.

Non-Perishable Food Items

Many people have extra food hanging around their home in case of a power outage or storm situation where they would not be able to get to the store easily. If you have a stockpile of non-perishable food items, it is best to throw them out rather than think about keeping them. Even if the packaging appears to be sealed, there is a risk of a pinhole that had let contaminated droplets inside. This could make someone severely sick, and it is better to avoid the risk altogether and toss the items in the trash.

Wooden Furniture

Furniture can be salvaged if you take the time to dry and clean it properly. Bring items outdoors, rinse with a hose to remove debris, remove any cabinets or doors so it dries quicker, and set the pieces upside-down. This will help any embedded moisture to drip out of the piece. Sun will warp wood, so it is best to place the furniture in a shady area to dry for several days. Remove any water marks by rubbing petroleum jelly over the spots and then wipe it clean the next day. Use turpentine in the same manner to remove any mildew. Apply a wood restoration agent to renew the coloring.

Plastic Children's Toys

If your basement was refinished to use as a children's play area, you will be tempted to try salvaging toys. While plastic can be cleaned off, there is no guarantee all mold will be removed due to the nature of the material. The porous spots in plastic make it a bad idea to keep around, as smaller children may touch a contaminated surface and then put their fingers in their mouth without washing their hands beforehand.

Paper Documents

Unfortunately, paper will most likely become a pulpy substance if it was submerged under water. If you have important documentation that had gotten wet, bring it to a sunny area to try to dry. Take photographs of the documents and print them yourself at a later date. You can then ditch the paperwork completely.

For more information and professional assistance, reach out to local water damage restoration companies, such as Flood Damage Restoration.

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Making Your Home What You Always Wanted

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