Books can get wet after being exposed to different weather conditions, so you must learn how to fix lightly water damaged textbooks. After seeing the soggy pages, you may feel worried, but you can quickly dry these materials with a fan and some towels.
Make sure to check the severity of the water damage before you start and see if the water is contaminated.
How Do Textbooks Get Water Damage?
Your textbooks can get wet in several ways. The first is improper storage; the room may be too damp and prone to moisture.
Humidity and drastic temperature change can cause moisture to build up in your books over time.
Leaking pipes and roofs can also affect your books’ condition.
Lastly, flooding can cause water damage to your textbooks. Some of the results may be severe, but you can save your slightly wet books.
Materials Needed For Fixing Wet Books
You only need a few materials to dry your wet books. Here is what you must prepare:
- A desk or ceiling fan
- A plastic sheet to use as the drying area
- Weights like cans or bricks
- Cloth or paper towels to absorb excess water
Once you have this paraphernalia ready, you can start the drying process.
Step-By-Step Process How To Dry Water Damaged Books
Be careful when handling your book, as some pages may be stuck together. If you dry your books quickly, you may return them to normal.
Step #1. Assess the damage
The length of exposure and paper type can determine the effectiveness of your work. Have professionals help you with valuable books or sets with a large quantity.
Step #2. Remove excess water
Use your towels to wipe down the front and back. Use gentle blots when you’re dealing with paperback books.
Hold the book spine and gently shake it facing down to remove more droplets.
Step #3. Place the books in the drying area
Apply towels every 10 to 20 pages in your book to absorb more moisture. Don’t force any pages apart, so they don’t tear.
Place the book upright on your plastic sheet to let the water drip down. Use your weights to keep it in place.
Allow your fan to pass over the book for a few hours to help it dry, and change the towels every hour, so they don’t get oversaturated.
Step #4. Straighten out your book
Dried pages will remain wrinkly after your repair, so you must put them under a flat board and top them with heavy items for about 48 hours.
Your book may not look exactly the same, but it will show significant improvement.
Common Book Drying Methods
People typically use fans when drying their wet books, but there are other alternative ways to remove the moisture.
Set your hairdryer to low or medium heat, and dry your book first from front to center, then back to center.
This drying is the quickest way to fix your books, but you must be careful dealing with heat.
If you don’t want the help of any appliances, you can choose to hang your textbooks in a well-ventilated area. Use a wire or string to hang up your book’s spine.
This is a quick method, but you must exercise caution. Line the pages with towels, then gently run the iron over them for fast drying.
You shouldn’t run the iron directly on your book as it may cause damage to the pages.
Sprinkle some cornstarch on the pages of your lightly damaged book and leave it covered for a few hours. The excess moisture will be absorbed, and you can use a soft brush to clean up the cornstarch after.
How To Deal With Contaminated Water
One thing you must check before you treat your books is the cleanliness of the water. A sign that the water is dirty is if there is mold in the area.
Here are some ways how to remove mold from water damage.
Books exposed to flood water may contain harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. You must clean it well before you dry it up.
The best way to clean a contaminated book is to dunk it in clean water. Fill up a basin, then quickly dip the book while holding the ends tight.
The clean water will remove the dirt and debris from the contaminated water. Remember to use gloves while you are doing this to protect yourself.
Dealing With Severe Damage
One of the best ways to fix severely damaged books is to freeze-dry them. This method will prevent mold and rot on the pages.
After you have frozen the book for two weeks, you may defrost it and follow the steps on drying wet books.
If you have too many damaged books or you feel you can’t fix them by yourself, you can ask the help of a professional. They will do their best to restore your textbooks to how they originally were.
A wet book can be devastating, but there’s still hope to save it. You can maintain your beautiful library if you know how to fix lightly damaged textbooks.
Remember to keep your materials safe from water damage and leaks to keep them in good condition.