A flood or water damage in your home can leave you wondering if your books or documents can be salvaged. There is a process of document restoration that will allow you to clean book and documents, but you have to make sure it is done properly. If a book is contaminated with water gently remove it from the body of water. Don’t open or close the book and don’t remove the cover. If there is mud or some sort of substance on it you can rinse the book with cold running water. To get the substance off you can use a sponge to brush the substance off, but don’t rub or scrape it as it could cause more damage. Make sure to clean and dry books that most important and to be cautious of the strength of the book. When the book is ready for drying there are a few different techniques. First there is the freezing method and this allows the drying process to be too sped up. Take the book seal it in a zip-loc bag and place it in the freezer. The freezing of the book can help stop it from deteriorating. After that let the pages defrost and separate the papers allowing them to dry. If the book is strong enough you can let it air dry. Open the book and place it on the driest edge of the book that can best support it. Every few hours flip the book upside down to successfully dry the book out. A fan can help speed up the drying process. Absorbent material is another way to help dry the book. Every ten to fifteen pages place white absorbent paper in between pages. Replace the paper every hour or as the paper become saturated. Applying pressure to the book is very key is drying it. Make sure the book is closed and use a light amount of weight to allow it to dry flat. Don’t apply to much weight where it is crushing the spine. Also ensure that throughout the process that mold isn’t forming. Trying to dry paper or documents are more difficult in that it is more fragile and it can distort or swell. It’s important that the drying process is started immediately because mold can form in just twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The freezing technique can help in salvaging document and papers. Allowing good air circulation can eliminate odors. Placing the papers once there dry in a box with an open box of baking soda can absorb the odor. Make sure there is no physical contact between the two products. Inspect the papers daily to insure no mold is forming.

Updated: January 13, 2014 — 4:14 pm
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