In water damage, prompt action is needed in order to salvage your belongings. If your documents are damaged and the response lag time is very long, you might need to entail the services of an expert in order to restore your documents to its previous state. This is a very tedious and expensive process. So when water damage happens, keep in mind that time is of the essence if you want to do it yourself and at your home's convenience. Read along and learn the different ways of drying wet books and documents easily and effectively. |
On such occasions where water damage can occur, affecting valuable documents and similar items, the only resort that homeowners can lean on would be document drying and water damage restoration. Some of these methods can be done by homeowners themselves while other items, particularly the very fragile and expensive ones, may require the services of professional restoration companies.
Different drying and salvaging methods need to be applied in different cases. In applying the right drying method, you need to consider some things before choosing the applicable one. These would include: assessing the type of document which has been damaged, determining the type of water which damaged the document and the importance and value of the document.
Depending on the extent of water or moisture absorption, document drying can be done using either state of the art technologies employed by professional restoration companies, or through do-it-yourself methods that can be performed by the homeowners themselves. Such methods include air-drying, dehumidification and vacuum-freeze drying, which are effective enough to restore water-damaged documents to almost its original conditions.
The common method of drying is to let the wet items dry naturally or by air drying. You can also use a dehumidifier as another drying method. This equipment will surely increase the drying speed and lessen the time needed for your documents to dry. The air drying method can be used for books which have strong binding. Open the book gently and find the driest edge and put the weight there. Make sure that you turn the book upside-down every few hours to enable it to dry evenly. You can also use fans to make the drying process faster.
In cases of water damage, freezing your wet books and documents is another way of saving it. Freezing can help stop the ink from spreading which would help restore the document better, making it readable even after the drying process. This method can be used when you need the document to be salvaged and restored at the fastest time possible. To do this the proper way, seal your documents or books in a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer. It will be better to use a frost-free freezer since it is equipped with a fan which can make the drying process faster. The process of freezing will stop the water damage from increasing and prevent the deterioration of your documents.
Using Absorbent Materials
This is a method which can be utilized after you've used other drying methods like air drying or freezing. You can also opt to use this method if the document in question is in an unstable and fragile condition. To do this, insert a white absorbent paper for every 10-15 pages of the damaged book. Do not add too many absorbent papers at once because it can damage the book's binding. If the book is fully wet, you can do the interleaving by sections. Wait for an hour, and then replace the absorbent paper with a new absorbent paper. You need to place the book with the absorbent papers in a flat surface to minimize deformation. As a tip, glossy paper is hard to separate when wet, so be careful in separating them to minimize the damage.
Making Use of Pressure to Dry your Water Damaged Documents
As a last step, you can apply pressure to your dried documents and books. If the document is still not dry, then do not apply pressure to it because it will damage it even more. It might cause the pages to stick together which will make it harder to separate and dry. You can employ this technique to books which are no longer wet, but are still cool to touch. To do this method properly, close the book and put it in a solid flat surface, then apply weight to it slowly. Make sure that you are not damaging the spine or the book binding when you are pressing weight into it.
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