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After finally saving up enough money to use as a down payment, I decided that it was time to hit the market. I met with a lender, got pre-approved for a loan, and then started visiting different properties. However, I quickly realized that I didn't know as much about real estate as I would have hoped. I wanted to find a great neighborhood and know what to ask the professionals, but I could tell that I needed a little help. To point me in the right direction, I started working with a great real estate agent who was familiar with the area. This blog is all about educating the general public on real estate matters.

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How To Dry Wet Books Like A Professional

by Nathan Olson

If some of your books got wet due to water damage in your home, you can dry and save your wet books by using the blow dryer method below. This method is an at-home version book cleaning method based off of how professional water damage experts save wet books.  

Supplies:

To save your books, all the supplies you need should be items that you can easily find around your house. You will need large plastic bags, preferably gallon size or larger. You will also need at least one full container of waxed paper as well as white paper towels without any colored patterns printed on them. Finally, you will need to clear some space in your freezer and get out your blow dryer.

Freeze Your Books

The first thing you need to do is put your wet books in the freezer. In order to prepare them for the freezer, you have two options.  

You can take a sheet of waxed paper and wrap it around the front cover, spin and back cover of each book. Or, you can place each book inside of its own plastic bag. This will help protect your books. 

Keep your books inside of your freezer until they are frozen. Depending on how wet your books got, this could take a couple hours or an entire day. You can also keep your books in the freezer from as long as you need. There is no rush to move on to the next step, so if you need to address other water damaged areas of your house, you can do so before moving on.

Dry Your Books

Drying your books is a process that is going to take some time. First, you need to clean a section of your counter off so you have a clean and clear work area. Then, you need to plug your blow dryer into the nearest outlet. You also need to keep sheets of plank paper or paper towels nearby. 

You are going to want to pull the book directly out of the freezer and remove the wax paper wrapped around it or pull it out of its Ziplock bag and lay it flat on your counter. Then, turn your blow dryer onto the hottest and highest setting. Take your blow dryer and move it around the cover of your book, working across the entire surface so that your cover becomes dry. As it dries, open the cover and continue to apply hot area to the cover.

If you have pages that are stuck to your cover, gently pull them loose. When the cover is dry to the touch, it is time to move on to the inner pages. 

Starting with the first page, apply air up and down the page as you smooth it out with your hand. As the page dries, turn the page and begin working on the next page. 

Keep working until  the book starts to feel wet to the touch again on the pages that you have not gotten to treat yet. When this happens, the book is starting to unthaw. You don't want it to unthaw on its own. Put a sheet of wax paper in between the pages as a bookmark, and put the book back in the freezer with wax paper wrapped around the cover or inside of a plastic bag.

Once the book freezes again, start this process of drying the pages. You will only be able to do a small number of pages each time, drying and refreezing. The pages you dry will not get wet again when they are refrozen; eventually, the whole book will be dry and you will be able to put it back on your bookshelf again.

If you have a lot of books that were affected, you can work on a few pages in one book, put it in the freezer, and pull out another book. This will allow you to most effectively restore your books. If you don't feel up to doing the drying process, you should still freeze your wet books and contact a water damage restoration specialist (such as Spotless Carpet Cleaners & Janitorial Services Inc) to dry the books for you. 

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