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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Salvage Wet Building Materials by Following a Few Simple Steps

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Residential pipe break in Littleton, CO

Salvage Wet Building Materials

You wouldn’t intentionally let building materials get wet, but it can happen. You could be in the process of remodeling your home with all your materials stored safely indoors. Overnight, the supply line to an upstairs bathroom fails and soaks everything. You can almost hear the swelling wood studs begin to warp.


The water pipe repair in the bathroom is a simple fix, but the building materials are not looking good. However, with a bit of work and a little luck, most of the materials can be rescued.

  1. Natural wood should dry like new but watch out for mold. If that swelling wood was straight when you bought it, it should return to that condition when it dries. The process might take a few days with a dehumidifier. Mold likes nothing better than a wet cellulose meal. Go to a hardware store in the Littleton, CO, area and ask for a mold suppression product.

  2. You can save drywall if it hasn’t been too wet for too long. It can lose its structural integrity if it’s wet for too long. It is also another favorite on mold’s menu. The product you spray on the natural wood should work nicely on drywall.

  3. Flakeboard and particleboard probably cannot be salvaged. Also, you cannot salvage cabinets and other items made from these products. Remove them from the area immediately to reduce the moisture content of the area.

  4. Uncompressed fiberglass insulation is salvageable. The paper facing on the insulation may be susceptible to mold growth and should get the same treatment as natural wood and drywall.


Your plan for rescuing the building materials is in place, but you have a bigger problem. That bathroom leak caused water damage in the rest of the house. Even you and your construction skills can’t handle all this all at once. It’s time to bring in local flood damage remediation experts to dry out your home. Perhaps they could even give you a hand with your swelling wood studs.

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