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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Should Mold Damaged Belongings Be Cleaned or Thrown Away?

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a teddy bear with water damage. Personal belongings with water damage.

Some of the things people own have a useful purpose. Others mostly have sentimental value. Some have a little bit of both. One of the most difficult decisions homeowners face after having mold cleaning done is whether to keep the mold-damaged property or throw it away.

What Property Should be Thrown Away or Kept After Mold Damage

Property That Should Be Thrown Away

If you hire a restoration company in New Bern, NC, it will try to save as much of your property as possible. However, some types of property will usually need to be thrown away because of mold damage:

  • Items with porous surfaces
  • Items with visible mold
  • Items exposed to floodwater

Common items in these categories include carpet, cardboard, mattresses, stuffed animals and upholstered furniture. Most moldy paper products will also need to be discarded. However, some items with sentimental value, such as family photos, may be able to be saved by using a freeze-drying process.
Food that is moldy or has come in contact with floodwater should be thrown out. Most food preparation items will need to be discarded because the cost of mold cleaning often exceeds the cost of replacing the items.

Property That Can Be Saved

Items that are made from materials with a solid surface, such as glass, plastic or metal, usually can be saved with mold remediation. Most fabric clothing can be washed in your usual laundry detergent unless the fabric has been damaged. Leather items usually need professional cleaning.
A HEPA vacuum can be used to preserve clothing and paper materials that did not get wet and have no visible mold. Electronics and appliances that were exposed to mold, but were not underwater may be able to be saved.

Keeping an inventory of your personal belongings on hand can help you identify which items are particularly important to try to save after mold cleaning and which can be easily replaced. Talk to your insurance company before you make any final decisions to ensure they are willing to cover the cost.

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