Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and Papers

Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and PapersWhen disaster hits, Project X can clean up the damage while you focus on what matters. Today, let’s cover Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and Papers. Just know that when you call our Denver restoration experts, we will respond immediately. When your home floods, we are there for you, cleaning up, restoring, and remodeling. That leaves you free to rescue things like letters, tax and legal papers, marriage licenses, wills, birth certificates and old books that could be irreparably damaged if you don’t take action to save them.

In addition to the damage water can cause, mold can create a real health issue from keeping damaged items made from paper. So how can you save your water-damaged important papers and special books? If you begin the process quickly enough, they can be cleaned and dried. Here’s how to do it.

Remove the Books and Papers

Gently remove the books and papers from the water.

Rinse the Items

You may need to carefully rinse the papers and books with cold, clean water in a sink or bucket. If the papers are fragile, lay them out on a flat surface and rinse them with a light water spray.

Lay Them Out

You should lay the papers by themselves on a flat, clean surface, or hang them on a string. Keep them out of the sunlight. Sometimes they may need to dry out a little bit before pulling them apart.

The water-damaged papers and books should be placed on blotter paper, like plain white paper towels, so the moisture can be absorbed. Avoid newspaper and printed paper towels because the ink can bleed onto your paper items.

Dry Them

Now you need to dry the books and papers. Some people like to use a fan to speed it up. For books, absorbent paper can be placed between the soaked papers and laying the books flat. Change out the blotting paper when they get soaked.

Just like restoring photos, if you are short on time or there are too many papers to deal with, you can seal them in Ziploc bags and put them in your freezer. This stops more damage to the paper and books until you can get to them.

Sometimes just being in the location of a flood and the humidity can cause mold to grow. So, even if the books and papers aren’t wet, they should still be air dried with fans if possible.

Get Rid of the Smell

After they are dry, do the papers and books still smell musty? If so, keep them in a cool, dry place. If after a few days they still smell, put them in an open container with a box of baking soda. The baking soda should absorb the smell. Make sure the baking soda does not touch the papers.


The papers and books should be checked for mold. If there is mold, copy or scan the papers and then throw them away.

If you act quickly, salvaging important documents is possible. Hopefully you learned something from our guide, Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and Papers. If you ever find yourself in need of our help, call our experts at Project X Restoration in Denver when your home has water damage and we will get to work immediately. We’ll develop a complete restoration plan and get your home back to its pre-loss state.

Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging Photos

Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging PhotosIf you suffer a flood, Project X Restoration can help restore your home and life. Today, we present Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging Photos. Sure, water damage can ruin expensive items like televisions and furniture, but our clients often focus their energy on saving sentimental possessions such as photos. While “things” can be purchased again, we know that it may be impossible to replace these precious mementos. Today, we offer some suggestions on how to save your photos from water damage.

Remove Photos

After you’ve located the water damaged photos, very carefully remove the photos from water. If they are in albums or stacked on top of each other, separate them. Do your best to not rub them or touch the wet surface of the photo.

Try to take out any photos that are in frames when they are still wet. If you don’t, the picture can stick to the glass when it dries. If that happens the photo will most likely be damaged. Keep the glass and photo together as you rinse them with flowing water. The water will usually separate the photo from the glass.

It’s best to begin saving the pictures within two days of the water damage or they can start to mold or stick together. After that happens, saving them becomes more difficult.

You can prioritize which photos to do first. You might want to start with the ones that have no negatives since they will be harder to replace or the ones that mean the most to you.

Rinse with Water

Usually, the photos have been submerged in dirty, muddy or contaminated water. You will want to gently rinse both sides of the pictures with cold, clean water from a bucket or a sink. Change the water often to make sure it is always clean. Again, try not to rub the photos.

Lay Flat

It’s best to gently lay the wet photos with the picture side up on a clean piece of blotting paper, like a paper towel, as soon as you can. If you use newspapers or paper towels with prints the ink may come off on your photos. It’s best to do this indoors to avoid the sun and the wind which can damage and curl the photos. Don’t forget to change the blotting paper. Your goal is to dry the photos.

Delayed Drying

Sometimes you just don’t have time to dry your water-damaged photos right away. If that’s the case, rinse them and stack the wet pictures between wax paper sheets and seal them in a Ziploc plastic bag.

One trick is to freeze the photos in the bag to stop the damage. If you do this the right way, your photos can be defrosted, separated and air-dried at a later time.

If you experience water damage, contact the restoration specialists at Project X in Denver. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting while you focus on what’s most important to you. Though it would be far better if you never need it, we hope this quick guide, Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging Photos, helps you save some of your most important and irreplaceable memories.