Because people usually focus on bigger areas that have suffered from flood water, water damaged clothes are normally forgotten about. The ability to restore clothing is strongly affected by how heavily they were soaked and the amount of time they were soaked. When handling these clothing items, it is important to stay cautious and be aware of the condition of the clothing. Protection gear is advised while handling.

Often, a homeowner is not able to prevent what gets wet and what doesn’t. Although some items can be brought back to life through the process of restoration with a basic washer and dryer, others may need more help from content cleaning services. By understanding how clothing is affected by water damage, you will have a clear picture of how to address the items with as little lost.

What you need to know about your water damaged clothes

  • Not all water damaged clothes are restorable. The good news is – most are.
  • Water damaged clothes can be restored at home or professionally.
  • You need to address water damaged clothes as quickly as possible in order achieve the best results.
  • Do not keep clothing that is beyond restoration. This may cause health risks.
  • There are several different methods that can be used in the restoration process.

How heavily where they soiled?

One way to analyze the damage on clothing would be to determine how wet the pieces are. Wet clothing can open the door for a lot of mold and mildew to start forming. Because mildew can cause a variety of health issues for both allergic and non-allergic people, it is important to identify whether bacteria has become present in the clothing. Potential health risks include bloody nose, congestion, sneezing, eye irritation, and more.

The clothing items should be handled with caution due to the presence of various types of bacteria such as, aspergillus fumigatus, which is a major player for respiratory problems. Signs of mold include a musty odor, discoloration or growth, and or visible settled spores. Clothes that are badly infested should be enclosed polyethylene bags and sent to professionals for decontamination.

How long have they been wet?

To best understand the condition of your clothing, try to get a clear picture of how long they have been wet. Getting a better understanding of time soiled will allow clarity of what is needed for the restoration.

Under the best conditions, it takes 24-48 hours for mold to grow, 3-12 days for spores to begin forming, and 18-21 days for these spores to become visible. It is important to be cautious when handling clothing items that have been extensively soiled. With this being said, it is important to address clothing as quickly as possible in order to have a better chance of maintaining their condition. Wondering how to remove water damage in clothing? Please reference the information below for details on how to properly clean restorable clothing.

How to Restore Water Damaged Clothes - Water Damage Restoration

Separate water damaged clothes

With water damaged clothes, it will be best to start by separating clothing according to color and make. Separating the clothing will allow you to clearly make a decision on what products to use on your loads and how to properly wash each one. Wearing gloves and a mask during each step with prevent any excess debris exposure that could be harmful to you.

Rinse water damaged clothes

Doing this will prevent any further dirt or mildew from settling into the clothing. To avoid heavy exposure with bacteria or dust, it would also be best to wear gloves and a dust mask to clean your clothes. Wearing gloves and a mask will protect one from any excess debris that could be harmful.

Pre-wash water damaged clothes

If your washer includes a pre-wash cycle, this would be helpful to maximize your regular wash. Doing a pre-wash of contaminated clothing allows for a better breakdown of clothing to get rid of all the dirt and stains. In addition, you may also add a mold remover such as bleach, borax, vinegar, baking soda, detergent specific for killing mold, or an enzyme presoak to help clean and disinfect. With water damaged clothes, using a disinfectant will help to eliminate the bacteria present. Using a regular detergent or dish soap alone will not sufficiently rid clothing of harmful bacteria or visible spore spots.

Tip: The following solution is proven to get rid of mold in clothing.

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 12 oz spray bottle
  • Fill rest of bottle with white vinegar
  • Shake until mixed
  • Spray on clothing where it’s needed
  • Wash normally after

In addition, Lestoil may also be used to presoak laundry by applying the product on spore spots and allowing it to sit for 10-20 minutes to breakdown the damage or discoloration.

Wash water damaged clothes

When washing clothes in the washing machine, it would be best to use powder laundry detergent, some form of disinfectant, and the hottest water recommended by the clothing. All the following will aid to, not only get your clothing in wearable condition, but to get them sanitized as well. There are lots of laundry disinfectants available, so choose whichever is best for the clothing per make, color, and level of damage.

Evaluation of water damaged clothes

After all washing is done, make sure to review all clothes for any more stains or smell. This final step helps to make sure that all your clothes are safe to wear again. If you find that there are still stains or smell from clothes, try taking them to your local dry clean business and explain the condition of the clothes. If they are unable to restore the clothing, it would be best to part ways with the pieces.

By leadamigo / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Water damage in your home can be hectic and not something that happens often. Because of the rarity of this terrible event, homeowners usually aren’t sure what to do next when filing a water damage insurance claim.

This is especially true for homeowners who are experiencing water damage for the first time.

What You Need To Know About Your Water Damage Claim

  • Not all types of water damage are covered. The good news is – most are.
  • Insurance will pay for all damages covered by the water damage as stated in your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • You need to notify your insurance company IMMEDIATELY after you notice that damage has occurred.
  • Do not attempt to make repairs before you contact your insurance company. They will walk you through what to do next.
  • A certified restoration contractor can help you dry your home and repair damage after you consult your insurance company.

You’ve Noticed Water Damage: What’s Next?

  • Try to turn off the source of the water.
  • Remove all electrical and turn off corresponding power to the affected area.
  • If possible, try to remove furniture or items in your home that would be further damaged by staying in the water.

Informing yourself about filing a water damage insurance claim and knowing quickly what important steps to take will help you, your family and your home in the long run. Don’t worry too much. Your home can be dried and repaired so that you can get on with your life.

1. Consult your insurance company

The Complete Guide To Water Damage Insurance Claims - Water Damage Restoration

Be prepared to provide documentation. You will need the following items to get the process started:
  • Name and contact information of your insurance company.
  • Your homeowners insurance policy number.
  • The source of the leak that caused the water damage.

Do a quick Google search for your insurance company + claims if you need to find the correct phone number.

2. Document your water damage with photos and video

After your water damage claim is settled, your insurance will want to pay you for the damage in your home and to your items. To make sure you get the appropriate amount of coverage, make sure to take as many photos of the damage as possible. A video will work even better.

Photo & Video Documentation Tips:

  • Take as many as possible.
  • Try to use good lighting.
  • Create a dedicated folder on your computer where you can keep all photos and videos together, or use a storage service like Google Drive.

3. Review Your Insurance Policy

If you do not have a physical copy of your insurance policy you can usually access it online. You want to look for guidelines related to flooding and water damage. There’s a difference between the two.

Verbiage regarding coverage amount, what items are covered and related terminology should be found in your policy.

4. Make an inventory of all damaged possessions

Your insurance company is likely to pay for repairs to your home AS WELL AS items that were damaged. It’s a good idea to begin a word document or spreadsheet that lists the items you believe to be damaged.

  • If you have receipts, keep them and list the amount you paid for the item or product.
  • If you do not have receipts, try to find the exact model of that item online and list the current selling price.
  • Search your bank account and credit card history online to find the price of an item at the time you bought it.

The Complete Guide To Water Damage Insurance Claims - Water Damage Restoration

TIP: You can download home inventory checklists or purchase software that speeds up the process of identifying what valuable items you have in your home.

It’s likely you don’t have receipts from a couch or tv that you bought 6 years ago. If you list “TV” as a need to be replaced item, your insurance company will find the lowest cost television and try to reimburse you that amount. Try to find and list the EXACT model of whatever item was damaged in your home.

5. Beware of water damage involvement by others

In some cases, the water damage you experience will not be your fault. It could be a plumber, an appliance installer or even an electrician. Regardless, if you suspect the fault is someone elses make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Contact the service provider you believe might have caused the damage. Usually, they can file the claim on their own insurance instead of yours.
  2. Document the contact information of those involved.

6. Get multiple estimates from water damage restoration companies

After the damage is done, you need to find someone to fix it. Calling a water damage restoration company is your next step. These companies are certified in mitigating water damage in your home. They will extract water, dry and repair any damages you have.

Getting multiple water damage quotes

  • Your insurance company will usually have a suggested water damage repair company. You DO NOT have to use this company.
  • Try to get at least 3 competing quotes. Let these companies know you are pricing competitors and they can usually match – or beat a competitors price.
  • Rely on Google and Yelp reviews to make a decision.
  • Companies can usually provide estimates 24/7.


Get multiple water damage quotes
Make to get at least 3 different water damage restoration quotes.

7. Don’t throw anything away

Although it may be gross, wet and stinky – try not to throw anything away. Your insurance company as well as restoration companies can use these items to identify multiple important facts about your situation. These include:

  • Your insurance company will usually have a suggested water damage repair company. You DO NOT have to use this company.
  • Try to get at least 3 competing quotes. Let these companies know you are pricing competitors and they can usually match – or beat a competitors price.
  • Rely on Google and Yelp reviews to make a decision.
  • Companies can usually provide estimates 24/7.