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Flooded Office InteriorIf a flood washes out your workplace, the business' important documents and books could be damaged by water and mold. If you have digital copies saved externally, this loss may not be a huge blow. But if unique items or originals are damaged, you may need to recover them.

Document recovery and restoration is a delicate process for two main reasons:
  • Paper becomes very delicate when wet and must be handled with extreme care.
  • Some molds are toxic and can spread easily in humid or wet environments.
You may be able to handle the recovery of lightly damaged documents, but it may a good idea to consult with professionals for documents that are thoroughly soaked through and dirtied. For simpler jobs, follow these steps to recover documents.

Cleaning


Floodwaters carry dirt and other contaminants that can soil your documents. Because you don't know what was carried by the water, use rubber gloves when handling these items. You can remove dirt and mud by gently agitating items in a bath of clean water.

Drying


Next, you'll need to dry out the documents. Position items in a well ventilated area, laid out individually or in small stacks. You can use fans to create more airflow, but don't aim them directly at the drying materials. This process may lead to physical distortions, but you should be able to save the information.

Mold


Mold grows best in moist, dark areas with stagnant air. And cleaning it can be a real bear because the spores can become airborne and affect more surfaces, along with the health of you and your employees. If you're not able to properly dry items within two days, freeze them to inhibit mold growth. This won't kill mold, but it puts it into a dormant state. Once mold is dormant, take the items outside and gently brush the mold off (be sure to wear gloves and a dust mask). You can also treat mold by exposing it to an hour or two of direct sunlight; however, the sun's radiation can also promote fading of the document.

Blotting Materials


You can use clean paper towels or rags as a blotting material underneath drying items to absorb moisture. Once blotting materials are soaked through, exchange them for fresh materials. For books, you can place interleaving materials between the covers and intermittently throughout the pages. Water will wick away from the pages and into the blotting material.

Protect your business' assets. Call Guardian Insurance at (855) 554-6482 for more information on Georgia business insurance.
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