what you need to know about water damage

I am the first to admit that I am not the best home repair person in the world. When something breaks, it usually takes me a while to figure out how to make the repairs or to break down and hire someone to make the repairs for me. When my dishwasher was leaking, I made the big mistake of not taking action immediately. Instead, I just stopped using it. I thought that not using it solved my problems, but it didn't. About three weeks later, I had to hire a repair contractor to fix all of the damage that the dishwasher had caused. Find out about water damage on my blog.

Saving Personal Items After A Flood


You've pulled all of your personal items out of your flooded basement and laid them out on your lawn. Now you have to begin the task of going over each item to determine if they can be salvaged. Here are some tips to know what can be saved and which items will require more time and money that they are worth.

The Type of Flood Water Determines Recoverability

Professional water restoration companies classify flood waters three ways to help decide how easy it is to recover an item:

  • Category 1 flood water comes from a clean source, such as a broken water pipe, and will not injure you if you come into contact with it.
  • Category 2 flood water comes from a dirty source, such as a toilet that overflowed, and will make you ill if you drink the water.
  • Category 3 flood water comes from a highly contaminated source, such as a backed up sewer, and can make you sick by just having it touch your skin.

Items damaged by category 1 water can be saved if they can be dried out sufficiently. Category 2 water damaged items need to be dried out and disinfected. Items soaked by category 3 water should be thrown out because of the expense of thoroughly disinfecting the items to make them safe to handle again.

Books and Magazines

The soaked paper swells and you'll rarely restore them to their original look, no matter how thoroughly they are dried. Glossy pages will tend to stick to each other. You can take rare volumes to a water restoration specialist for an evaluation of how well they can recover the book.

Personal Papers

Allow important papers to dry then photograph them or make copies and throw away the originals.

Photographs and Framed Pictures

Take pictures out of their frames. Place photos between sheets of paper towels to dry. Place a flat heavy object on photos so they don't curl as they dry. Drying photos slowly will minimize the curling.


Wash these items in hot water and bleach them to kill any microorganisms your clothes may have picked up from the flood water.


Carpeting that sits in flood water longer than 24 hours can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Pull up any wall-to-wall carpet and allow it to dry then take it to a carpet cleaner for shampooing and steam cleaning. Throw away the carpet pad and allow the wood floor to dry completely before putting down new padding.


Upholstered furniture soaked by flood water has a high risk of becoming infected with mold. The padding and covering must be cleaned and dried soon after the flood to prevent mold from setting in. A healthier option is to dispose of large pieces and replace them.

Electronic Items

Position these items so as much water drains out of them as possible. Allow all electronic items to dry completely before plugging them in and turning them on. Most electronics will work once they are dried out, unless the item is full of dirt and debris from the flood. In that case, you can try to flush out the device and dry it out.

To learn more, contact a water restoration company like EccoPros Disaster Restoration LLC.


18 September 2015