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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Drying Important Documents After an Unfortunate Water Event

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding can destroy documents and other important content in your home

Recovering wet documents after a flood can be the saving grace for a business that would otherwise succumb to failure because of the disaster. Medical and legal offices have important paper records containing patient and client information that are integral to the continued performance of the business and the servicing of their clientele. When a water disaster strikes, document drying services are often necessary to preserve the validity of many businesses.

Document Recovery Process

The process of document recovery after flooding is as follows:

• Identification and retrieval of wet documents from the flooded area
• Secure processing of documents
• Digitizing and returning paper and electronic copies to the affected business

Business owners can and should be present during the reclamation process to point out areas where the desired documents to be recovered are located within the flooded building and which documents the recovery professionals should focus on.

Sensitive Information Handling

Medical records and papers with sensitive information should be handled in a specific manner to maintain patient and client confidentiality. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has many stipulations regarding the handling of patient information in a health-care setting. Finding a recovery specialist that is certified and knowledgeable in the handling of such documents in a manner conducive with government regulation is often very important.

Methods for Drying

Tried-and-true methods for handling wet documents should be enlisted to ensure complete recovery. The Library of Congress in Lafayette, LA, utilized freeze-drying technology for document recovery that was very effective. Treatment with the proper chemicals to hinder microbial growth after a moisture event is also important. Mold and bacteria can multiply in moist environments created by flooding and wet paper. The microbes can use the paper as food and substrate for growth, causing potential health hazards and rendering documents illegible and not structurally sound.

Dealing with flooding alone can be a headache, but when you throw in damaged papers that could hurt your ability to reopen, it can be downright miserable. Working with a professional restoration company can be a good way to get started on the work.

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