So, you’re dealing with water damage.  Whether from flooding or an in-home pipe burst, items in your home will most likely be affected.  Now you’re left wondering what can be saved and what needs to be tossed. Surprisingly, a lot of your home items can be salvaged if proper guidelines are followed.


  • Electronics are made up of many components that may be damaged by exposure to water. Quick action is necessary to prevent the possible further damage of rust.  Taking these items to a professional restoration or drying service should save the majority of these types of items.


  • Clothes can often be saved from water damage. It’s important to remember that some flood waters contain hazardous materials so proper precautions will need to be taken when handling dirty clothing.
  • Rinsing off dirt and debris will be the first step. Clothes should then be washed in clean, hot water with heavy-duty detergent and a disinfectant.  If clothing cannot be cleaned right away, at least get it hanging on a line and drying out to avoid mold growth.
  • It may take a few cycles to get out all stains, smells, and health hazards.


  • Furniture restoration from water damage depends on the type of materials and quality of the items. Any furniture made from particle board will most likely have to be thrown out.  Metal or solid wood are more likely to hold up after contact with water.
  • Any type of heavy padding, like in sofas, will most likely have to be tossed. These types of materials are difficult to dry out and susceptible to mold.  Furniture with seat covers may be salvaged, but covers may need to be replaced.


  • There are many pieces of paperwork that are vitally important, and luckily most types of documents can be saved from water exposure. Time is critical when it comes to restoring these documents.  There are professional services that can restore photographs if you do not have them saved on the cloud or through another source.
  • Documents must be separated individually and dried as quickly as possible before mold growth can begin. Even books can be spared if properly dried out with absorbent inserts between pages and airdrying.
  • Any paperwork that has been in contact with hazardous flood waters, like raw sewage, may have to be thrown out due to health concerns.

What Should Get Thrown Out?

  • Unfortunately, there are just some items that will have to be replaced. These items may include the following:

Mattresses & Box Springs


Stuffed Toys






Soft decorative items

Furniture made from particle board

The guidelines provided here are general.  A trained water restoration professional will be able to advise you on any and all concerns you may have about your homes exposure to water damage.  Safety is always the greatest concern so keep that in mind anytime you are dealing with damaged items and goods.


Related Blog Posts:

What Can Happen if I Leave Water Damage Untreated?

Effects of Water Damage on Materials in your Home

How Much Does Restoration Cost After Water Damage?

How Long Does it Take to Fix Water Damage?

5 Reasons to Call a Professional for Water Damage

How Often Does Water Damage Really Happen?


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