Papers, and especially books, that have been exposed to flood water are fragile, very likely to mold, and difficult to dry successfully. They may be a health hazard so wear waterproof gloves. Suggestions for drying papers and books:
Please note that it's rarely possible to restore a wet book to anything like its original condition. Books and papers which are not discovered and dried promptly are probably going to be lost unless treated by a professional. Even if they appear to have dried successfully, they may still disintegrate. As a precautionary measure, you should photocopy important material once it's dry.
Protecting family papers and treasures is important. Very valuable papers such as stocks and bonds, property records, contracts, and birth and marriage certificates are best kept in a safe deposit box. Other papers and mementos should be stored in moisture-proof containers; examples of suitable containers include home safes and plastic food containers with secure seals. Visit the Minnesota State Historical Society web site or call 1-800-657-3773 for advice on restoring valuable papers.
Written by: Don Kelsey
Reviewed by: Dan Panshin, Sherelyn Ogden, Bob Herskovitz - 2002
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