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How to Belongings from Water Damage

One of the most common topics we have to discuss with our clients is how and what they can save from a water damage.  Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer to this question. Every water damage is unique in some sense so what can be saved is really a case by case basis. However, we’d like to offer guidelines so people can attempt to make the best decision possible.

Water Type

clean-vs-dirty-waterDetermining whether the water that damaged your personal belongings is clean or contaminated will be a big factor in whether or not it can be salvaged. Obviously if you are dealing with clean water, the chances of you being able to save it are higher.  Even though it may be possible restore something that is damaged by contaminated water, it is more than likely not worth the health risk it brings.

Porous vs Non Porous Materials

Porous materials like fabrics, wood, and paper are very good at retaining water. This also means it increases the chance of other dangers like mold growth, and damage beyond repair. This is not always the case and if handled quickly and properly, many times these items can be saved as well. On the other hand, porous materials like marble, metal, and porcelain among others usually have no problem being restored. Since there is really nothing for bacteria and mold to root itself in, a simple cleaning is usually no problem.

Time Saturated

Another factor that will come into the equation of determining what can and can not be saved is how long the materials have been wet for. The longer an item sits in water, the deeper it can penetrate. As you can imagine, this makes it increasingly more difficult to bring back to its normal state. The perfect example of this is wooden furniture. It takes quite a fit of time for it to really absorb and become completely water logged. If you get  personal belongings out of the standing water and begin the drying process right away, you have a good chance of being able to save them.

Replacement Cost

replacement-costWater damage restoration of personal belongings is no different than any other type of repair. You will always want to evaluate how much it is going to cost to repair something versus simply replacing it. Is the item you want to save really worth paying a professional to do work on? Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not.

You should also take into account that paying for restoration does not guarantee your item will be returned to its original state. If that’s the case you’ll have to replace the item anyways.

If you are unsure about whether or not one of your items could be salvaged, it is best that you get it analyzed by a professional. If you hire a water damage restoration company to handle a dry out of a property they will be able to assist you in assessing damage to personal belongings as well. To speak to a WM&F representative about this topic, give us a call at 800-905-0277.

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