Storms, floods, water damage, and other issues that can impact you and your family are always a possibility. You want to be prepared as best you can.
But sometimes, disaster strikes. It can be somewhat containable, such as a pipe that breaks while you are home and able to turn off the water. Other times, it can be flood waters entering your home during a storm and creating havoc with all your belongings.
One important category of personal belongings that can become damaged by water (whether clean water, dirty water, or sewage) and that you would think is easy to clean up would be clothing, or garments. Just think of how many items of clothing are in your home. That can be a staggering number.
The cleanup may not be as easy as you think. Consider these quick tips for garment restoration:
The source of damage
Most of your clothing can be saved, but if the damage is from sewage backup or other bio-contaminants, it is best to discard and buy new. While you want to save what you can, think of the health of your family. Anything damaged by sewage or bio-contaminants is best discarded. Even washing in hot water and detergent may not rid the fibers of all the contaminants. And bleaching may not do the job either.
Separate and conquer
Another step is to separate your laundry just as you would normally, but also create a category of “heavy soil” — such as clothing heavy with dried mud. Take those items outside and do your best to break off hardened mud and use a garden hose to remove as much as possible after that, and then after drying, launder them as normal. You need to let them dry before you put them in the machine, as most modern machines calculate the wash cycle by the weight of the clothes. You don’t want to damage your washing machine by using it for muddy clothes.
Now it’s time to get to business with all those dirty clothes. Use quality laundry detergent and an appropriate disinfectant. Use hot water as practical. Here’s a very important tip. Don’t overuse the detergent. You might think because of the soiling that more detergent is best. It’s not. Using too much laundry detergent can cause your washer to overflow with soapy water, which leads to more issues. It can also leave residues due to the machine not being able to rinse it all out. Use what manufacturers recommend and follow directions. If you need more cleaning, just rewash clothes repeatedly. A repeat washing continues to flush out soils and contaminants. And always follow our manufacturers suggestions on load size. Popular washing machine brands.
Be safe, be smart
As you can see, tackling storm or water damaged clothing can be intensive, and we have only touched the basics here. Often, your damaged belongings are covered by insurance. Check with your insurance carrier. But for all restoration work, no matter the situation, do the smart thing. Call your favorite water damage and garment restoration company Accent American Inc.