Water damage is overwhelming. One reason is that it happens so fast; in a matter of minutes, water can be everywhere. It follows the path of least resistance, and everything in its wake gets wet. Flooring, furniture, drywall – it all seems able to soak up water in an instant. The good news is that with prompt water damage removal in Kansas City, saving your belongings after a flooding event is possible.
One particularly challenging task is salvaging books and important papers. While restoring these items to their original condition is not realistically possible, it is possible to save many of them and bring them back to a reasonable condition. If your books and important papers were damaged by water; follow these three steps to protect them as best you can:
Stop the damage
Wet documents continue to degrade as long as they are damp, and drying them takes time and preparation. Placing them in the freezer stops the degradation and gives you the time you need to prepare.
- Wipe or rinse away mud and debris
- Wrap books and documents in wax paper
- Pack them in plastic containers and freeze
Prepare Your Supplies and Your Space
Restoring water-damaged paper requires some basic supplies and a clear, generous workspace. You’ll need the following:
- A book press or a selection of heavy objects such as bricks or large books
- Circulating fans
- Absorbent papers such as unprinted paper towels, newsprint, or blotter paper
- Wax paper or freezer paper
- Disposable gloves
The space you choose to work in needs to be clean, dry, and clear of clutter. Ideally, it would also have low humidity. It would help if you were prepared to dedicate this area to air drying your documents and books for a while as the process is a bit slow. You can’t use the kitchen table in the morning and set it for dinner in the evening; you might need to wait days or even weeks for things to dry completely.
Set up the Air Drying
The process we are describing here is air drying. It is the least expensive method of restoring wet documents and one you can do yourself without special equipment. If you have very important or valuable documents, you might consider professional restoration services.
The air-drying process works like this:
- Remove documents or papers from the freezer. Work in small batches.
- Place standalone documents on absorbent paper.
- For books: interleave absorbent paper between each page of the book.
- Please turn on your fan or fans and direct them towards but above the papers and books.
- Check regularly for progress. Replace absorbent paper as needed.
- Once dry, remove absorbent papers, gently reform the documents and books to their original shape, and press in a book press or beneath a heavyweight for several days.
Water Got You All Wet?
With careful attention, you can save many of the books and papers damaged by floodwaters. For more information about water damage restoration, call Emergency Mitigation Services. We provide emergency water removal in Kansas City following floods, plumbing malfunctions, or significant weather events. We’re here any time, day or night; 24-hour water damage repair and mitigation is one phone call away.
Don’t leave water damage to chance; call the experts to get the job done right.