How To Save Books and Documents From Water Damage
How To Prevent Water Damage To Books And Documents
When your home has been hit by flooding or other water damage, your family documents, treasured diaries, and other important books and papers are at serious risk. The moisture and humidity are certain to do serious harm. What can you do to prevent further damage? How should you handle document restoration?
Identify the Extent of the Damage
The first step is to identify the type of damage your papers, documents, and books have suffered. For the best treatment results, you need to identify how much water you'll be dealing with:
- High Moisture Content: High humidity or a light sprinkling of water through an open window could cause pages to curl or become discolored. Without attention, mold could develop in affected areas.
- Absorbed Water: A leaky window near a bookshelf or a stream of water from an upstairs room into a lower study could expose books and documents to damage within the very fibers of the papers.
- Submerged Items: Flooding is a cause of serious damages. Water gets between all the pages and works its way through entire storage boxes or file cabinets. In some cases, writing becomes so blurred that documents are no longer readable.
Contact a Professional
As soon as you can safely do so, contact a professional to dry and restore important documents and treasured papers. SERVPRO provides document restoration within their own facilities. By handling document drying internally, costs can be kept lower, and quality can be monitored directly.
Inventory Affected Books and Documents
While you wait for drying and restoration professionals to arrive, resist the urge to move papers around. When documents are wet, they are at their most fragile state. In some cases, those papers may have been exposed to toxic materials. Instead of moving books and documents, make a list of the documents that have been affected (to the best of your ability without moving them.) It's helpful to know if there are birth certificates, family histories, or financial records in the stack.
Document restoration is a delicate process, but SERVPRO professionals in Auburn, WA, have the training and tools necessary to do the job well. The best time to contact them is before further damages are done.