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How to Handle Water-Damaged Documents

November 1, 2017 Published by

Sometimes, accidents happen, and we have to deal with the consequences — like your important papers being water-damaged because of a leak or natural disaster. During your cleanup, you probably will wonder what you should do with stacks of wet papers, and that’s why we’re here to help. Here’s how you should handle water-damaged documents.

Assess What’s Damaged

Check to see if the water made it through the entire stack or if only part of the pile got wet. If the latter is the case, save what you can, and move the dry papers to a safe place. You should then try to take note of what documents are damaged and will need replacing.

Get Rid of the Boxes

If the water-damaged documents were in boxes, your next step should be to get rid of those. Even if you managed to dry the boxes, they still won’t be structurally sound and safe for reuse. You’re better off trashing them and buying new ones.

Dry the Damaged Papers

It may seem silly to dry wet papers, but there are two important reasons to do this. First, dry the papers prevents mold and mildew from growing. Second, if you try to shred wet papers, they can end up clumping together and clog the shredder. To dry the paper, lay each sheet out flat on a dry surface and open nearby windows and use fans to circulate the air in the area.

Important: If you discard papers that are even partially legible, the information could be still be stolen. If your business was flooded, you may also have documents that are not legally allowed to be thrown in the trash. When you have to deal with water-damaged documents, drying and shredding them is your best bet for safety.

For help keeping your information safe, contact Complete Shredding Solutions instead! We specialize in data destruction so we know how to securely handle and dispose of your private information. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 516-442-1624.