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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Tips to Save Water Damaged Photos

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

Salvaging damaged photos.

Oakdale Water Damaged Photographs May Be Preserved By SERVPRO

When an flooding strikes and homes are forced to submit to the destructive power of Mother Nature, it is rarely material possessions that people fear losing the most. Instead, they worry about the water danage done to sentimental items, particularly family mementos and photographs.

While it is not always plausible to save water damaged photos, scrapbooks, albums, and other personal records, in many cases, steps can be taken to restore them partially, if not fully. If your possessions have been damaged by flooding, follow this step by step process to try and revive treasured memories.

Step One: The first step is to remove the photographs from standing water as carefully as possible and place them up high. If they are held in albums, they need to be separated and laid out somewhere dry. Take care when handling the shiny surface of the photo, as too much pressure can rub away the emulsion.

Step Two: Take a sturdy container filled with cold, clean water and quickly dip each photograph. Replenish the water if it gets dirty or murky.

Step Three: Now, lay each photo out flat again on a dry surface. It can be beneficial to set an absorbent material beneath them (like paper towels) too. These towels will soak up the surface water. However, do not use printed paper towels or newspaper, because the ink can end up transferring into the pictures.

Step Four: For those are still dealing with a chaotic situation and cannot find a safe place to dry the photos, the best thing to do is seal them in a plastic sandwich bag and put them in a freezer. This will ensure that they do not suffer further damage before you have a chance to dry them in a controlled manner. Use this as a last resort. Consider allowing SERVPRO to remove your photos and personal memorabilia to our facilities where we have state of the art equipment.

Extra Hints and Tips: If possible, retrieve photos exposed to water damage as quickly as you can (ideally, within two days--but within hours will improve the chance of success ). After this point, they will begin to develop mold and will be much harder to save.

To give yourself as much chance of saving prized mementos as possible, rescue photographs that do not have negatives first. You want to be focusing on the most ‘at risk’ items and objects. Do remember that photographs in frames need to be removed for saving while still wet. If you allow them to start drying, the photo will stick to the frame and be impossible to preserve. To separate a wet photo from its frame, rinse both with clean, cold water until the picture surface starts to become unstuck.

Hopefully, you have digitized your photos and video clips. Regardless, hard copies are treasures to be saved whenever possible. SERVPRO suggests that for photographs and important documents you secure our services to transport them back to our headquarters from your Oakdale water damaged home. There we have many options to optimize the success rate of restoring, or, at least, preserving them, as best as is possible.

    Air Drying
    Vacuum Freeze Drying
    Vacuum Thermal Drying
     Freezer Drying
Urgent response to drying will help save these mementos. Don't wait. As we restore a water damaged home, we can also be working on the photos.

We Use Advanced Drying Equipment and Techniques

Using specialized equipment and products, our technicians extract standing water and dry your property quickly and efficiently. We will respond promptly to any call from Oakdale and Stockton. (209) 477-3090