How to Save a Book From Water Damage and Paperwork, Too!
Cleaning up after a flood can be daunting, and it may be overwhelming when you see your vital documents wet and damaged. But, never fear, because annual tax returns, property records, medical information, and marriage licenses are also capable of being saved even after water damage, as long as mold hasn’t started to grow.
Important papers and books can be cleaned similarly to photos, by placing them face up on paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. The key is to blot when necessary and never rub, for risk of tearing.
Follow these steps to clean and save vital documents and books:
- Carefully remove papers and books from the dirty water.
- Gently rinse the papers or book in a bucket or sink. Make sure the water is clear and cold. Dip the paper in, saturating both sides, trying not to rub it. Change the water frequently. If the paper is too fragile to dip in water, lay it down flat on a paper towel and gently spray it with water.
- Place papers on clean paper towels inside to dry. Turn on an oscillating fan, if possible, to get air circulating and help speed up the drying process.
- For books, place paper towels between every 20 to 50 pages to absorb the water in the book, and lay the book flat to help it dry. Change the paper towels every two to five hours.