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Restoration Of Valuable Items
Water damage creates major havoc on any home or business, and in most cases it is enough to say that anything damaged can be repaired, and that anything destroyed can be replaced. Unfortunately, all that goes out the window when you start looking at valuable items such as heirlooms, artwork, or historical pieces. These may have a monetary value, or a sentimental attraction that goes beyond money. When these items are flood damaged, you want to take all available steps to salvage them.
Any objects that are still wet should be rinsed off with clear water, removing any and all silt and debris with a soft brush or a slightly damp cloth. Do not grind or bear down as this will only result in the particles being ground into the piece and causing additional damage.
Objects that are air dried should be done indoors, since sunlight and heat may cause the item to warp or even crack. Storing items in damp bags is also discouraged, since mold can easily develop, and will do so more quickly if the area is enclosed and damp.
If you are looking at damaged historical wallpaper, avoid using disinfectants or other harsh cleaners as this can cause additional damage.
If objects have been broken, then collect all pieces and place them in labeled bags. The services of a professional conservator may be required to salvage the piece.
Anything that makes use of paper is especially susceptible to water damage. This includes paintings, prints, documents, photographs, books, and magazines. They should be allowed to air dry as much as possible, with paintings removed from frames but not the stretcher. They should be dried face up and away from direct sunlight.
Antique furniture may become white or hazy following contact with or submersion in water. This does not require immediate treatment, however, but the item should be dried out thoroughly. Again, a conservator may have to be consulted to provide for the salvaging of the piece.