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Did Your Important Documents Get Wet? Here Are Some Tips on Drying Them

Feb 28, 2024 | Commercial Water Damage, Contents Restoration, Water Damage Restoration

We all have important documents, irreplaceable photos, or other important property that we keep somewhere safe in the house. While that can keep them out of the wrong hands, sometimes, nature is the one culprit that we cannot account for. 

Your important documents can suffer water damage, whether it’s a sudden flood, heavy rainfall, or even an inconvenient water leak. Thankfully, there’s contents restoration. There are certain ways to recover these important documents or photos.

Road to Restoring Wet Documents and More

Before you even think about restoring the condition of these documents, you need to understand that water damage has caused these papers to become even more fragile than before.

Put on a set of gloves before you do anything. This will help to keep you safe and ensure that the wet items are not damaged unintentionally as well.

Content damaged in flooded basement

Immediate Action

The first step you will need to do is move these items to a dry location. The longer they stay in wet areas, the harder it is going to be to restore them. Once that is done, you can place these items onto plain paper towels to soak up the excess moisture.

You should also put them in direct sunlight. Together, these steps will help reduce the water damage that is being done.

This is the same for books as well. You will need to place paper towels after every 10 or 20 pages and make sure that the book is laid flat. By letting it breathe and dry, you have a better shot at saving it.

A fan will also be useful, just do not face it directly at the affected items. Keep it facing up and away, and the increased air circulation will help the drying process. You should also consider paperweights to hold down the edges to prevent curling.

Lastly, keep replacing those wet paper towels.

Delayed Solutions

If you are unable to carry out the drying process immediately, you can delay the effects of water damage by freezing. 

Wrap the damaged objects in paper or zip-lock bags together with additional paper towels, then place them inside the freezer. 

This will be a stop-gap measure for now, before you proceed on to the next steps such as drying.

Air-Drying/Freeze-Drying

Once the affected items have been frozen, you will need to try to save them. This can be done by the same air drying method detailed above, or you will need to utilize a professional vacuum freeze dryer. 

This process will help remove any excess moisture, and prevent any more water damage as the ice melts. This is applicable especially to items that have water-soluble inks, watercolors, and coated papers.

Thermal-Drying

On the other hand, books and records that are extremely wet can be salvaged using vacuum thermal-drying instead after freezing. This process will ensure that little damage is done due to sublimation, as the affected items are being heated up and dried while staying relatively wet. 

This process is effective for large numbers of books or documents affected by water damage and is relatively quick and affordable. 

Get Your Contents Restored by Restoration Professionals

At the end of the day, flooding and water damage are unfortunate scenarios that can take even the most well prepared person by surprise. Contents restoration is not just a simple technical process. It demands that the experts who handle these damaged contents have a deep appreciation for how owners are emotionally connected to their items and their significance.

Throughout Premiere Restoration’s contents restoration process, we respect and recognize the emotional significance of your contents and always try to achieve an overall meaningful and positive outcome for our clients. If you need an empathetic and capable team to restore your contents, don’t hesitate to call Premiere Restoration today.

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Personal Property Cleaning and Restoring

Fire, water, mold damage, and natural disasters and accidents can occur anytime. Act quickly to recover and restore your damaged possessions. With our state-of-the-art contents cleaning trailer, we can clean much of your damaged personal property on-site.

We provide Contents Restoration to homes and businesses in Mankato and all of Southern Minnesota, including FaribaultLake CrystalNew UlmNorth MankatoOwatonnaSaint Peter, and Waseca.