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Water’s Effects on Valuables 

Flood and water damage can be extremely costly to homeowners. The structure of a house can be threatened, flooring and ceilings completely ruined, and drywall and isolation completely soaked and in need of total replacement. Further damage can be caused by mold that is carried in by water. These fungi can wreak complete havoc on walls, bathroom tiles, wood and any other surface that can provide some level of nutrients. Flood waters can carry disease and sewage that make people in your family sick and, in extreme cases, even cause death. On top of all of this structural damage, many of the valuable things that are stored inside your house are also in danger. Here are some valuable tips and tricks that could help restore your precious goods to good as new after the clean up is done.

Electronics and water do not mix. Water can cause shorts and can permanently ruin your devices. The first thing to remember is that water and electricity are a potentially lethal combination, and because of this the first step in any attempt at saving water damaged electronics is to be sure that the electricity is turned off. After being sure of your personal safety, make certain that you remove any wet clothing and dry your hands thoroughly. Then, carefully pull the plugs out of the outlet. It is important to remember that wet batteries are also potential hazards, and shorts inside them can cause fires or chemical burns. If the battery is intact, and not leaking, be sure to remove it. Proceed to rotate and shake the device at all angles, being sure to dump all of the water from inside. From this point there are two plans of action. If you understand the workings of the machine, feel free to disassemble and clean each part completely and individually. Otherwise, submerge the device in a tub of uncooked rice. The rice will extract moisture and provide a last ditch effort against further damage.

For other valuables, like paintings, antiques, and other family heirlooms, a slow and careful approach is necessary. Paintings need to be removed from their frames, but not their stretchers, and should be dried face up, away from direct sunlight to avoid yellowing. Objects that are wet or dirty should be rinsed with clean and clear water and wiped dry with a clean, soft cloth. This should not be done with too much force, as any small dirt or rocks can cause permanent scratches on the surface if worked into the fabrics. A good rule of thumb for all valuables is to allow them to air dry, and to not attempt to repair them until all parts are completely dried.

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