When you have a leaky pipe, the work doesn't end when your plumbing insurance company completes its work. While they will look after most of the damage, there still may be a few irreplaceable or slightly damaged items to clean up or repair, but don't worry. You can make many items look brand new again with a few simple tips and tricks.
Water Damaged Wood
Whether it's from a leaky pipe or someone putting their cup on the wood, water will instantly ruin an otherwise flawless finish. It's a shame, but you'll be glad to know you can repair it even if your home or plumbing insurance won't cover it. If the water only lifted the grains in the wood, you can rub them off with fine grit sandpaper and give it a thin layer of lacquer.
For bigger repairs, you'll need to replace any badly affected areas and sand the old lacquer off the rest of the wood. Then, you'll need to repair any surface flaws. Lift out dents by putting a wet cloth over them and heating it with an iron to create steam. Next, hide any scratches or gouges by filling them with matching wood filler. Sand the surface until it's smooth and finish with a coat of stain and lacquer.
Because it's so thin, veneer requires great care and consideration. If the damage isn't too deep, you can give it a light stand and reapply the finish. Bubbled, cracked or lifted veneer, however, will have to be removed by using heat and a scraper to pull it free. (For the best results, start at the edge and work toward the center.) Then, remove any glue residue and fill any gouges or scratches before applying new veneer.
Wall or Ceiling Water Stains
You need to dry walls and ceilings as quickly as possible to prevent mold and replace anything that has too much damage. To clean up the rest, wash it with a mixture consisting of two ounces of bleach for every quart of water. A stiff brush will make quick work of any dirt, mold, mildew and other stains in textured areas.
If the staining is only mild, cleaning will likely be enough. If you can still see the damage, however, you'll need to prime and paint the area with products designed to seal in stains. Otherwise, the discoloration will bleed through the fresh paint and become visible. (You can spray the walls and ceilings twice per year with an equal solution of hydrogen peroxide and water to prevent mildew in damp rooms.)
Drying Paper Items
It might be difficult to resist, but try not to panic when you discover your favorite books, photographs and paperwork sitting in water. Carefully remove them from the water and put them in the freezer if you can't dry and preserve them right away. Otherwise, gently separate and dry them. Pictures, artwork and other items should be removed from their frames and dried face up away from direct sunlight. (You can dry the frames the same way.)
Natural sunlight will help everything dry, but it often causes even more damage. The UV rays will cause the color to fade. They may cause dry the paper too fast, which can cause shrinking, cracking and a ton of other issues. Leather, fabrics and other materials can be left to air dry, too. If they're shaped, however, be sure to support them with towels or plain paper and replace them as they become saturated with water.
Water damage can be a nightmare. Normally, your plumbing insurance provider will look after most of the repairs and cleanup for you, but that doesn't mean the other items left behind are lost. There may still be hope. Try these simple tricks, and if they don't bring your beloved possessions back to their previous glory, don't be afraid to call a professional water restoration expert.
About The Author
Ori Lazarovits is an experienced and renowned Simi Valley Water Damage Restoration contractor, providing all water restoration services for residential and commercial disasters. He has many years of experience dealing with all sorts of water disasters and has the ability to make damages properties look new again. You can learn more about his services by visiting http://waterdamagerestorationsimivalley.com