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My Business Flooded: What Do I Do With The Water Damaged Documents?

Oregon may be in a drought but that doesn’t mean we can’t experience flooding. Commercial flooding can occur during the winter rains or due to broken or leaking pipes. Unfortunately, businesses can be hit with major damage when there’s flooding.

If boxes of business documents and files were destroyed or damaged by flooding, what you should do with soggy paperwork? After all, is it even possible to shred wet documents?

What to do with water-damaged documents

Whether your documents are fully water-damaged or partially destroyed, it’s important to act quickly. This is because water-damaged documents can easily grow mold or mildew in a short amount of time if left in the damp. If your documents have been affected by flooding, consider doing the following first:

  1. Assess the situation. Determine which documents are salvageable and which ones aren’t. Make a list of the affected documents and if replacement documents can be requested.
  2. Get rid of boxes. Remove the documents from the boxes they’re in and discard the boxes. Cardboard boxes can easily mold. Additionally, it’s important to get rid of the boxes even if they appear dry. This is because mildew or spores could be lurking in the topmost layers of the box.
  3. Dry the documents. Remove the documents from the affected area and begin to dry them. This can be done by laying out individual papers on a dry surface. Humidity levels in the area should be lowered and air should be constantly in motion around the papers. It’s important to dry your documents prior to shredding because wet paper can jam the shredder.

What to do with partially damaged documents

It’s important to consider what to do with partially damaged documents after your business has flooded. This is because the document can still be read and sensitive information can be compromised. In 2020, identity fraud cost Americans $56 billion. Make sure your business and your employees, customers, and clients are protected. Your business might be storing financial records, personal identifiable information (PII), confidential business plans, HR records, and tax documents. It’s your legal and ethical obligation to safely discard sensitive materials, even if they’ve been damaged!

In general, we recommend that you let partially damaged documents dry first before contacting us for disposal. Not sure how to proceed? Contact our shredding professionals at 503-620-3423 and we’ll help you determine a plan of attack.

Contact DataSafe

Whether your business has flood-damaged documents or outdated paperwork, it’s essential to use secure document destruction to ensure confidentiality. Make sure your business is prepared for a potential disaster and learn how DataSafe can help your business with our corporate shredding services. To schedule your document shredding, contact the shredding experts of DataSafe today.

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