How to Protect Important Books and Documents From Water Damage | True Builders Blog
How to Protect Important Books and Documents From Water Damage

How to Protect Important Books and Documents From Water Damage Monday, August 26, 2019

Water damage is one of the most devastating types of damage. While it’s not always possible to foresee a flood, leak or other type of disaster, you can take certain measures to make sure important documents and items don’t suffer from water damage.

Here are some ways you can protect important books and documents from water damage in Plant City, Lakeland, Winter Haven, and the surrounding areas.

Documents to Protect From Water Damage

An accordion-style filing folder like this one does not protect against water damage in Lakeland, FL homes.

Some documents and items can’t be replaced, so it’s worth it to take extra precautionary measures to protect them from any and all damage. Here is a list of the documents we recommend protecting from water damage:

  • Identifications: Birth and marriage certificates, passports, social security cards, photocopies of driver’s license and credit cards, military ID and documents, and important contact information.
  • Home and property records: Home deed, mortgage, car titles, insurance policies and paperwork, and policyholder information.
  • Estate: Wills, trusts, and powers-of-attorney.
  • Medical: Health insurance/cards, immunization records, doctors’ contact information.
  • Financial: Bank statements, tax records, W2s or W9s, important receipts, and checking and savings account information.

Contain Documents in Waterproof Containers

One of the most basic yet fail-safe ways to keep your documents protected from water damage is to store them in waterproof containers. Keep all important documents, books, photos and other items contained in one place in your home, and if possible have them condensed and stored in such a way that they are in an accessible place in case of an emergency and easy to carry out of harm’s way. In the event your home floods or experiences a roof leak, you want to be able to pick up your contained documents and carry them out easily and safely.

Always choose waterproof containment over water resistant, as this provides maximum protection from water. Waterproof containment is impervious to water and unaffected by it, whereas water resistant is only able to combat water for a short period of time.

Always keep electronic copies of important paper documents and ensure these files are backed up to prevent damage.

Keep Electronic Copies of Important Documents

None of us ever expect or foresee water damage, however it’s better to be prepared for it just in case it ever happens. In addition to keeping your documents and other important items in waterproof casing, you should always backup your documents electronically. Scan all important documentation on your computer and back up the files on a CD, external hard drive, or USB.

If you choose one of the latter two options, make sure you store these in a safe and protective area as well. Many important documents are already electronic for you via paperless billing bank statements and contact information. For documents that are not automatically generated electronically, make sure you keep copies of all these items.

Watch Where You Store Your Items

Placing important documents in a cabinet that's not waterproof, like this one shown in Winter Haven, can result in your documents becoming damaged from water.

You’ve successfully contained all your important documents and other paper items in a waterproof storage container, but now you must find a place in your home to store them. Our water damage professionals recommend avoiding top shelves for document storage as this exposes them to greater risk in the event of a roof leak or storm damage.

Similarly, avoid placing such items near windows as violent storms can break windows, spewing water all across shelves located near them. Try to store your contained documents in the middle if possible as this is the safest area to avoid water damage and leaks. If you must store these items on bottom shelves, make sure you place them at least six inches off the floor to reduce the possibility of water contact in the event of indoor flooding. Never, under any circumstance, place your documents directly on the floor, as this is the greatest hazard area for flooding and water damage.

Don’t hesitate to protect your belongings from water damage.

At True Builders, we have several years of experience repairing and restoring water damage for homes and business in Plant City, Lakeland, Winter Haven, and the surrounding areas. If your home has suffered a leak or flooding, call us today at (863) 647-1800 for quick and safe water damage repair services.

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