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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water damaged materials at a glance

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Below is a quick guide to water damaged materials (Does not apply if mold is present):

Water-Damaged Materials (books and papers)

  • For non-valuable items, discard books and papers.
  • Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals.
  • Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry.

Carpet and backing - dry within 24-48 hours 

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier.
  • Accelerate drying process with fans.

Ceiling tiles

  • Discard and replace.

Cellulose insulation

  • Discard and replace.

Concrete or cinder block surfaces

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.

Fiberglass insulation

  • Discard and replace.

Hard surface, porous flooring (Linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)

  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
  • Check to make sure underflooring is dry; dry underflooring if necessary.

Non-porous, hard surfaces

  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.

Upholstered furniture

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
  • May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture.

Wallboard

  • May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace.
  • Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible.

Window drapes

  • Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer.

Wood surfaces

  • Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat, and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors.)
  • Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry.
  • Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying.

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