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What Items Can Be Recovered From A Flood?
Residents and businesses in Southeastern Wisconsin will always be hoping for a productive year with no trouble. But sometimes, as with the recent pandemic, things just happen, and flooding is one of those things. While we can take steps to mitigate the effects of a flood on a property, no one can prevent a flood from happening if the weather and environmental conditions are right.
All we can do in the aftermath of a flood is try to repair and recover from it. For homeowners, this often means trying to save as many things as possible to reuse. But just how many things can be recovered? The answer to this question comes from another important question.
What Type Of Flood Water Is Present?
While it’s true that all water is water, there are different types of water involved in floods based on the content of the water. For recovery purposes, there are three types of water:
Category 1: Clean water. This type of water comes from a tap or other treated or very pure sources. In this case, the water is safe, with no more risk to people and animals than faucet or hose water.
Category 2: “Grey water.” This is water that has already been “used” in some capacity. Soapy water from a dishwasher or laundry machine is an example. This water is less safe to consume but still poses no significant risk.
Category 3: “Black water.” This is contaminated or unsafe water from dubious sources. With human and animal waste, sewage backup, or pond water from a polluted source are examples. This is the most dangerous type and poses a health risk.
With that out of the way, here are the items that are often salvageable, depending on the type of water exposure.
For people that still keep printed photos and albums, photos often can be recovered, especially if they’re only wet, not muddied. All it takes is careful rinsing and air drying, and they’ll still be usable.
If clothing has only been exposed to clean or grey water, it should be fine. The usual washing and drying will recover the clothes. However, if the clothes have been soaked by black water, they may be unsafe to wear and should be discarded.
A table or wooden chair can often be recovered as long as it is adequately cleaned and allowed to air dry. The exception to this when it is laminated wood. The laminate often does not hold up well to water exposure.
For home items like sofas or recliners, it’s easy to salvage if the water is clean. However, if it is grey water or black water, it’s often better to dispose of the furnishing unless you’re willing to pay for high-end furniture restoration.
If you need flood restoration, we can help. Emergency Restoration Specialists have over 30 years of experience serving the Milwaukee area. Our teams are trained and experienced in flood cleanup and repair. Contact us for a prompt, professional response.