How and what you can salvage from flood damage

How to save vinyl records after being damaged from flooding
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The things you cannot replace are the ones that will be missed most after a flood disaster. In some cases, those items will not be salvageable, but if you act quick enough, you could preserve some of those precious items.

Mold will set in within 48-hour of something getting wet. However, your pictures, books, albums and other such precious items can be saved.

"Once these waters have receded and you're coming into your home, it may seem counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do for these photographs and books that you want to save is actually take a bind, fill it with clean water and put them back in," explains Ed Benoit III, a conservator with LSU. "You want to prevent them from drying to each other, you want to prevent the mold from setting in."

You'll need a towel, a paint brush, some wax paper:

  • Take the damaged photo and place it in a bucket of clean water.
  • If the photo has dirt or mud on it, use the paint brush to slowly wipe away the debris
  • Once the photo is clean, take it out of the water and place it on a towel to let it air dry. You can also place the photos in the freezer to dry. Use wax paper between each photo to stack them.

Vinyl records are another one of those precious items that can be salvaged after flooding.

"Some of the stories are like every other story, either these were their grandmother's records or their mother's records that they were promised to cherish forever and they wound up in a house that flooded," said Kerry Beary, owner of Atomic Pop Shop.

The store is offering to clean records that were damaged by flood waters. In the two days since announcing they would provide the service, they have had 15 drop offs. It will take weeks for Beary and her crew to clean all of the records brought to the shop, but she says this is something you can do yourself.

  • Take the records out of the paper jacket and lay the record flat on a towel so it can dry. Do not stack the albums until they are completely dry or the paper labels will stick together.
  • Use a soft cotton towel and distilled water to wipe the record.
  • DO NOT use any household cleaning products such as rubbing alcohol or Windex because they will break down the vinyl.

Atomic Pop does sell a cleaning product that is cheap and safe to use. The store is located at 2963 Government Street. For more information call (225) 771-8455.

Click here for more videos and tips on how to preserve items such as books, furniture, and textiles.


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