When your possessions are affected by water damage, restoration isn’t always possible. Wood stays warped, documents will be ruined, and electronics will befried! Flooding can happen to anyone, even those living in low-risk areas. Learning how to properly protect your valuables from water damage is an important step in reducing the unavoidable costs a leaky roof or basement flood will cause. The following tips are a few proactive steps you can take to protect your valuables.
Although not viable for many possessions, off-site locations are worth considering for anything you do not regularly make use of. Important documents such as insurance information, bank forms, your passport, and your birth certificate may be kept elsewhere for more security, like a safety deposit box.
The same applies to any furniture, decorations, or other objects that you might have stored in the basement. Possible out-of-home locations include safety deposit boxes, storage facilities, or at the homes of relatives and friends. If using another home to store your possessions, make sure it’s one in a separate city—this will reduce the chances of a flood affecting both homes at the same time.
Use Digital Sources
Scan important documents and store them on a disk or USB drive and secure it somewhere safe and ideally off-site, like a safety deposit box. Although digital copies cannot replace physical versions of many documents, for instance, a birth certificate; an electronic copy is often helpful in speeding up the recovery process should the originals get lost or destroyed. It goes without saying that keeping the storage device password-protected or encrypted is also important.
Use Sealed Boxes
A plastic container is an effective way to protect many smaller items from the elements. In addition to photos, books, or similarly sized objects, you can also keep important forms in these boxes should you elect not to store them outside the home. Consider placing each item inside a zip-lock bag for additional protection. Once you have filled a box, secure the lid and place it on the floor of the attic or second level of your house. For additional security, consider duct-taping the lid closed.
Furniture is a common and expensive casualty of flooding. Couches and easy chairs can be ruined without proper precautions. Finding a means to elevate the legs of your furniture is a simple but effective step to protect them from flood water. You will want to use something sturdy that is able to provide at least six inches of elevation. Cinder blocks are a viable (though admittedly unattractive) choice. Likewise, you can consider using smaller wooden blocks under the feet of your furniture that can be easily replaced following a flood.
Use Tarps and Plastic Sheeting
Water damage to electronics is almost impossible to repair. While smaller devices may be safe courtesy of being kept in drawers, the same cannot be said of your desktop computer or television. Throwing a tarp or plastic sheet over electronics and appliances will shield them from any water leakage. For electronics that are closer to the ground, such as a computer tower, be sure to elevate them as well.
Not all homeowner insurance policies cover flood damages. Make sure your policy protects you in case of flooding and consider getting such a policy if it doesn’t. Take photographs of your valuables beforehand and store them along with any receipts in a secure or off-site location, such as those suggested above.
Flood Services Canada is a leader in flood remediation along withmould, sewage backup, and fire and smoke damage cleanup. Our rapid response teams can quickly get to work to both prevent and mitigate flood and leak damages and aid in the restoration process. For more information, contact Flood Services Canada today.