By, Tia Cristy
How try dry out after the flood.
So hurricanes can leave many in the mud and sand. I got to storms and their brutal effects up close. After Hurricane Sandy, I spent my day helping people clean up after the devastation. We were able to put many good tips to use.
Seeing soggy pictures and documents of great importance to these lovely people was heart-breaking. So I knew, I had to use my knowledge to help where I could. I took my time removing water logged photos from saturated albums full of wet sand and mud. I then showed the people how to dry them out using cornstarch. We discarded the albums themselves, but were able to save all the photos, documents and books that were of the highest significance to these people.
This process can work for most paper materials. Find a dry area to do this work. Get a cookie sheet and fill the bottom with pure cornstarch. Place the photo on top and shake some additional cornstarch on top of the photo or paper. Smooth it over with your hand gently. If the paper is very wet it will put a solid coating over the paper. Lightly knock off the excess and place flat on a surface lined with wax paper. You can do this repeatedly for all your pics and documents. Be sure to lay each thing separately, don’t stack. Let alone for several hours. When photo is dry you will be able to rub your finger over the paper and the cornstarch will flake off. if it doesn’t come off easy it still needs drying time. If needed, add more cornstarch. Once fully dry, you can sweep off the powder with a soft paint brush. It takes a little patience for the complete process, but it’s worth doing to remove the moisture, so your important documents don’t wrinkle and curl as much as the would if they were simply air drying. Bonus tip, cornstarch kills many nasty bugs and organisms, which is great for sanitizing those flood filled documents.
As for books, paper back and hardback text books, drying them will take longer. First, lay them in a dry place; in direct sunlight is ideal. After they air dry for a day, they maybe ready for step 2.
Step 2, may sound excessive pending on the amount of books you want to dry out. Place the books in a plastic moving container, then add bags and bags of dry rice. It’s the same method as drying out electronics. Leave the books submerged in the rice for a day or two, (may need time longer depending on thickness and how saturated the books are) After the books have dried mostly then, sprinkle them with cornstarch. Again, this will kill yucky stuff that may still be on the pages.
To reuse the rice, place rice in the sun for the day and let air dry to remove the moisture that it soaked up. Use new bags of rice if you plan on drying out electronics so it is able to absorb as much moisture as possible. Electronic dry-outs can take a lot longer to get results. Have patience.
If you’ve been challenged by Sandy, Tips from Tia wishes you well. And, let us know if you need any other tips to help you get one step back to normal.
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.