Restore Possessions

Wood furnishings

Sponge off with clean water using a soft sponge or cotton rag. Blot off all excess water with clean cloths or paper towels. Clean with a wet cleaning solution. Allow to slowly air dry. If upholstered furniture and bed frames are valuable, remove and discard all the cloth and padding, pull out all tacks and staples and then treat wood as above.

Clothing, drapery and other cloth

Clothes should generally be thrown away after flooding. If clothing and other cloth materials will be saved, remember they may contain mold or other contaminants from the flood waters. Wash clothing in a washing machine, not by hand. Add two table- spoons of liquid chlorine bleach per washer load. Dry cleaning may also be used, especially for special fab-rics such as wool and silk.

China, glass, jewelry, porcelain and metal possessions

Damp wipe these items with wet cleaning solution or wash them in a dishwasher to remove dust and superficial mold. Wash or wipe items in disinfecting solution and rinse after five minutes. Wipe dry, and be sure that they have dried completely before mov- ing them to storage. Pots, dinnerware, buckets and anything else that was withfloodwaters need to be removed carefully. They may contain dangerous bacteria.

Electric appliances

Unplug appliances and leave open to dry. Have them inspected by a competent appliance repairperson be- fore reusing.

Small valuables

Photos and papers may be frozen in zippered plastic freezer bags and stored until a professional restoration expert can recommend what to do with them. Valuable artwork can be HEPA vacuumed to remove surface mold, then wiped with damp paper towel and air dried. A tac-cloth may be used to speed drying.

Source: Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair has been a journalist for nearly 15 years, working for several leading Indian publications The Economic Times, Outlook and Hindustan Times. He is also a guest lecturer at University Arts London and is currently working on the history of Indian rock music to be published by Harper Collins in 2019. He lives and works in Kochi.