Many people have extensive libraries and collections of old documents in their homes. These documents and books could provide a written history of their interests, their family, and their life. If these items get wet and are damaged, all of this history could be destroyed. Much of it could be irreplaceable. If you have a library and it floods, here are some measures that you can take to minimize the damage and ensure that your library survives.
1. Stop the Flow of the Water
Do whatever you have to do to stop the water from coming into your library. This might be placing a bucket underneath a leaking pipe, sealing a window with plastic wrap, or shoving towels in a hole in the wall to keep the water from getting in.
2. Air Dry What You Can
If you don't have a large collection and you have the time and space to lay it out to air dry, start this process immediately. For loose sheets of paper, lay them so that they are flat on top of a towel or on paper that does not have anything printed or written on it. Change the towels on a regular basis when they become too saturated to absorb any more water. Allow the papers to lie out until they are totally dry. If the paper is glossy, you will want to freeze it using the procedure covered in step three.
For books, carefully separate the pages and place a paper towel between each page in order to absorb as much water as possible. Replace paper towels when they are too damp to absorb more water. Make sure that the paper towels are larger than the pages and protrude slightly. If a book has glossy pages, freeze it using the procedures in step three.
3. Freeze Everything Else
If you have a huge collection of books and papers that are now wet, you are going to want to choose a small handful to dry according to the procedures in step two and freeze everything else. This buys you time to dry everything in smaller batches without having to worry about mold. When you freeze books and paper, simply stack them neatly on a towel in the freezer and close the door. Set the freezer to be as cold as possible in order to prevent large ice chunks from forming. You might have to use a commercial freezer in order to reach cold enough temperatures. For glossy paper, you will want to leave the paper in the freezer until it has been "freeze dried," a process that can take several months depending on the temperature levels in the freezer.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in emergency water removal, such as Firewater Restoration Services.