Restoring Personal Items After a Flood

By W.B. Arthur
WB Arthur

Dealing with the aftermath of water damage is emotionally draining and frustrating. Your house and everything in it make up an essential part of your life: your home! With help from restoration companies like W.B. Arthur, will guide you through your journey back to normal.

From water removal and dehumidification to structural drying, a restoration team will act quickly to clean up your home. As a homeowner, there are ways you can take control of the restoration process of your personal items.

Continue reading to learn more about the process of bringing your photos, books, and furniture back to life after a flood.

Saving Your Items

Before you begin the process of consolidating and cleaning the items you’re able to save, you have to consider what kind of water damage your home has suffered.

Sewage water is the most toxic form of water damage as it contains bacteria and toxins that can be hazardous to your health. Once the bacteria-filled water seeps into furniture, wood floors, paper, and upholstery, these items are often left unsalvageable.

Clean water damage, however, makes for a much easier restoration process where you can salvage more of your items.

Patience and Care

Keep in mind throughout restoration that this is not something to be rushed. Your items have been compromised and require extra care and patience to remain intact while being dried and cleaned. Take your time and think about how it will all be worth it when your items are back to their original state.


Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to save everything affected by your water damage. Take a look at your items and begin with the items that are most important to you. Whether it’s for sentimental or monetary reasons, those items are things you would be devastated to lose and cannot be easily replaced.


Take the items that are not a top priority and place them in open boxes or bags. If you’re not able to get to them within a couple of days, you may place photos, books, and paper in the freezer. This will:

  • Stop mold growth
  • Keep ink from running
  • Buys you time to save other items first


As your personal items have suffered water damage, an important step is drying them out. Sunlight and hot air (such as from a hair dryer) can cause further damage to your items, so drying indoors is best. Give them plenty of room to dry, using fans on a low setting for help. If the weather outside is not too hot or humid, you can also open windows to let in a breeze.

Restoring Specific Items

Let’s go through some of the more common items that homeowners are eager to restore quickly and efficiently.


Find a large, flat surface and cover it with a layer of paper towels. Carefully lay the photos flat and leave them to dry. The paper towel will help dry the photos from the bottom.

If you have more photos than what will fit on the surface, repeat the process in small batches and ensure the photos have enough room and don’t overlap.

Tip: If you’re using fans to help with the drying process, don’t point it directly at the photos. This could cause the photos to curl and warp.

Don’t forget that you can always get photo restoration help from your local professional!


Thoroughly soaked books are some of the harder items to restore, but not impossible! Cover a flat surface with a sheet of plastic, paper towels, or newsprint. Gently stand the book on its end, and place a paper towel between the cover and first page. Do the same with the back cover and last page.

Leave the book to dry, changing out the plastic or newsprint beneath as they become wet from the dripping. As with photos, we do not recommend you point fans directly at the book to avoid warping.

Water Damage Restoration in San Marcos

If your home has recently suffered water damage, flood damage, contact the team at W.B. Arthur for professional restoration services. Give us a call at (512) 710-0559 or contact our team online to begin your flood damage restoration process.

Categories: Tips, Water Damage

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