Protecting family heirlooms while recovering from flooding

Family heirlooms and other valuables damaged by floodwater can be heartbreaking. But there are steps you can take to protect these objects as you recover from the storm.

For fabric materials, remove them from the dirty water and place them in clean water. Lightly hand wash them without soap. Then let them air-dry on a rack using a fan, if available.

For books impacted by the floods, remove book from floodwater and place it in clean water. Then allow the book to breathe in water to remove dirt from pages. Remove the book from the water and place paper towels between every 15 pages. Close the book and apply pressure.

Repeat this process until the book is damp and not soaked. Finally fan open the book, leaving it in a standing position and allow it to fully dry.

For furniture recovery, remove the upholstery. Clean the furniture with a clean towel. Do not place it in the sun or directly in front of a fan. Allow it to air dry slowly to prevent cracking and warping.

For more instructions on cleaning and restoring your valuables, check with the Galveston Historical Foundation.

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