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. Can be a staggering number.

Tips for Clothing Restoration

The cleanup may not be as easy as you think. Consider these quick tips:

The source of damage

Most of your clothing can be saved.  Water damge or mold can be easy clothing restoration. 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.

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 don’t want to damage your washing machine by using it for muddy clothes.

Practical steps

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. Use what manufacturers recommend and follow directions. If you need more cleaning, just rewash clothes repeatedly. A repeat washing continues to flush out soils.

Call in the professionals

Many restoration companies, like Accent American Inc. in Tampa, offer contents restoration.  They will pick up your items, including clothing, and clean them for you, then return them after your home has been restored.

black and white patterned sweater covered in soot clothing restoration
Clothing restoration

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 Tampa water damage restoration company, Accent American Inc.  After all, it pays to call a pro!


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