Six Ways to Salvage Possessions After Water Damage

Apr 20 2019
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When it comes to flooding I’m fortunate to live in a place where the chance of it is basically zero. Even with the several FEET of snow we got dropped on us this last winter most people I know dealt with few problems. Even I had expected to still see some water in my basement when it all melted but that wasn’t the case. I did have an ice damn on my roof that caused dripping into my workshop which was entirely my own fault because I didn’t get the snow off my roof like I should have!

(I live in a part of our country with very very very sandy soil.)

Of course, it is in cases like that (such as a roof leak) that most people will find water damage in their home. Or, a broken appliance when they’re gone one weekend and get to come home to find their dishwasher had flooded their basement.

I’m one lucky chicka that I haven’t had that happen to me yet!

Flower gallery of northern Minnesota wild that bloom in the summer perennials, daisies and many others in the farmyard and barnyard at Grandma's House DIY
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

All may not be lost when a home has water damage from a flood as some family possessions may be salvageable. Depending on the amount of water that was present in the house, homeowners may be able to save important documents, books, furniture, and even carpets.

Read this information to find out how to save items from your home after water damage from burst pipes or flooding.

Dry the House Out

If the humidity is low, open the windows and doors to allow air to circulate throughout the house and begin the drying process. Also, deploy high-powered fans in the house to move air quickly and shorten the drying process. Fans, or air movers, are available for rent instead of buying them.

Pump Water Out

To remove standing water in a house, use a sump pump to get rid of it. For homes that have sump pumps, make sure that they are turning on to pump water out of the house. If not, lift the float slightly and then gently ease it back down to help it switch on.

If your house doesn’t have a sump pump, find a tool rental business and rent them to remove the standing water in your house. Getting rid of the water is necessary to begin the drying process and to recover your family’s possessions.

Assess the Carpets and Rugs

If washable rugs are on the floor, and they haven’t been in wastewater, put them in a washing machine and hang them outside to dry. For carpets or rugs that are not washable and have foam backing, remove them and toss them in a dumpster.

A home restoration company can help dry and clean salvageable carpets and since your homeowner’s policy covers restoration services, you shouldn’t be stuck with a bill from them. Use the internet to search for restoration companies, like, and make an appointment with one.

Hang Documents

After finding important documents, assess them for damage and set aside those you can save. If they are wet, put up a line of string or yarn and use clothespins to hang them up to dry. If possible, hang them in a room with a fan, and they should be dry in a matter of minutes.

Saving Electrical Items

Turn the breakers to the off position before touching anything electrical, especially if there is still standing water in the house. Then unplug the appliances, electronics, lamps, and other items before assessing their condition. However, do not touch the breakers if you are in standing water.

Unplugging everything will allow you to turn the electric breakers back on for lighting if you need it. Clean out the refrigerator and leave the doors open to let it dry out. Set small appliances on the table or counters to dry while assessing other damage in your home.

Remove Moisture with Minerals

Use packages of desiccants like silica gel, calcium oxide, or clay to absorb the moisture in small wet items by placing them together in airtight containers. Also, place the mineral packs in sealed areas like closets to absorb the moisture. Many of the packages turn color to indicate they’re saturated.  

These techniques work best with minor flooding instead of major events like hurricanes or water flooding up to the ceiling in a house.

If the water was high as the ceiling, then it’s likely that most of your possessions are not salvageable. However, with minor flooding, you can rescue many of the things you want and need in your life.

Depending on the amount of water damage in the house, homeowners may be able to save important documents, books, furniture, and even carpets.
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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