Natural disasters can ruin your pictures

Prevent Wet Photos - Guarding Your Heirloom Photographs in Hurricane Season

 Envision what it might be like to wake up after a severe storm to find your living room flooded.  Now add in the shock and dismay of realizing that among your damaged possessions is a drenched box filled with irreplaceable family photographs, slides, negatives, and documents. A loss of old photos can make the emotional devastation of such a disaster is not easily overcome.  What will your great-grandchildren feel when they learn all of the family pictures were needlessly destroyed in a hurricane?

In 2016, Heritage saw a record number of slides and negatives damaged by floodwaters - Over 900 of them from one customer alone (and that’s with NO hurricane last year).  Water damage is often the most difficult type of retouching we do.  A once beautifully-framed portrait of great-grandma can quickly become a mess of soaked paper with a blurred image that barely resembles what it once was.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Make sure your children can enjoy that portrait as much as you do.  

Take a look at the example below.  This treasure originated somewhere around 1890-1910 and includes an entire family.  The damage you see was caused by Hurricane Ike, which hit Houston in 2008.

water damaged photo before photo restoration


Regrettably, the Houston hurricane season makes the chances of a tragedy like this ever more likely. We can only speculate about how intense this year’s hurricane season might be, but wisdom says we should be cautious rather than reckless (lest we suffer later).  In other words, it’s better to be safe than sorry, friends.

Fortunately, there is hope, even if the damage has already happened. Utilize our Houston Photo Scanning Service. In bulk, this could be as cheap as $.15 per picture.  Take action before you find yourself in this situation. If the damage has already happened, take heart and contact us anyway. We're well known as the Best Photo Restoration in Houston, TX. . We can truly handle almost any photographic restoration job you bring our way.

Shield Your Photos Today

natural disaster can destroy your photos

Photographs are one-of-a-kind possessions. They carry the antiquity and memoirs of our families, our journeys, our joys, and the unique past of those closest to us. When we lose them, we lose a piece of inimitable family history. Many old photos also go beyond personal history. Old photographs and slides also preserve part of our culture

A photo of your grandpa on his back porch with his hunting dog or a snapshot of Great-Aunt Bessie smiling from the driver’s seat of the Model T may one day hold valuable clues of interest to a historian or museum curator. Your family album could one day provide evidence for unlocking a mystery or answering question of interest to others.

The world of image mending has advanced technology for preserving, protecting, and restoring photographic images and negatives. Couple that with the expertise and extensive experience of our highly-trained staff and photo refinishing reaches a whole new level. ANY kind of damage can be repaired to some extent, even if it looks hopeless to you. Contact us and let us evaluate the damage and tell you about the conceivable solutions.

One of the best ways of taking care of photographs is by having your collection saved digitally to disc. The original photo is not harmed in the process, and you can still keep it in your album to share with your family and friends. Digital photographs can be printed out on photo stock paper from your computer screen, or they can be viewed on your computer or tablet, or both. Heritage also offers custom prints on 18 different types of paper, canvas, metal, or even wood!

Digital preservation and safeguarding of photographs is one of the best ways of keeping your photo collection intact and safe from the disaster of flood. Digital photos are also easy to share with others using the Internet. You can post them on Facebook, email them to a historian, share them with family far away, or print them out to enjoy with friends, all with a few clicks on your computer. When your collection is being digitally preserved, we can also retouch and enhance the original images, making them better than ever. You will get them back with the picture looking as good as it did the first day you saw it. So, even if your family album has suffered water damage, you can have the photos repaired, making them as sharp and crisp as the day they were originally developed.

We can Fix Water Damaged Photos

If you do find yourself in the unhappy situation of discovering a box of soaked photos, here is what you should do. Spread the photos out face up on a dry surface out of direct sunlight. Do not place a towel or paper towel over them, and do not try to wipe them dry. Older photographs have a thin layer of silver halide solution embedded on a paper backing. Wiping or attempting to dry-off a water damaged photograph can further injure the delicate silver-based solution which forms the image. While the photos are drying in this way, buy some desiccant packs at Walmart or your local drugstore. You may even have some laying around the house. They are those little packages that so often come inside bottles of vitamins and other products, and they absorb moisture from whatever they are packed with. When the photos are dry enough to pack, put them carefully in a box with the desiccant packs and send them to us by UPS.

We can even pick up your collection from anywhere within 100 miles of our business location. Once we have your damaged photos, Heritage will extract all of the digital images from the wet and damaged slides and negatives. You may be surprised at how often it is possible for us to successfully restore wet photographs beyond the quality of the original. The important point is to contact us and get the photos to us quickly, so we can do the best job possible for you.

To successfully repair water damage in photos is a tricky thing to do. That is why you want to entrust this job to experts in the photo refinishing field. We have extensive experience in all types of damage to photos, negatives, and slides. We go beyond saving them. We make them better than before and can also preserve them in a digital format which will survive any future disaster.  If you can't get to a professional immediately, take note of what we said above.  Look around your house for small packets of silica gel.  You've probably seen them inside packages you receive and clothing you buy at the store.  Try to keep them nearby:

silica gel

So, if you tried to protect your family album before the rains hit, but photos ended up soaking wet anyway Send them to Heritage Photo Restoration and let us help bring them back. If your photos are just fine now, consider contacting us and having them digitally preserved before a heart-breaking disaster makes it harder, more expensive, or maybe even impossible to do.

Protect What You Have, but if Your Photos Are Damaged, Call A Professional.

Our services go way beyond emergency restoration of family albums which have suffered water damage. We offer a full line of assistance for any kind of damage to photographs, negatives, and photographic slides. This includes water damage, fading from sunlight, damage from fire, scratches, tears, and even the elimination of old color enhancement techniques that may be detracting from the image, and it all starts with a little bit of digital photo scanning.

In the past, some photos were color tinted for added effect. This was done on both black and white and color photos. While these techniques were popular in their day, they may make the picture less attractive or harder to view. 

Within our tiny studio here at Heritage, we have some of the most advanced technology available  for removing this kind of coloring and tinting.  Once the image is reprinted, you will be amazed.   You will still have the old, tinted copy for historical purposes, but you will also have a new copy with the tinting taken out. Alternatively, we can add sepia toning to your old black and white images at your request.  Many customers comment that restored images often look better than the original itself.  

We’ve seen photos that once resided in a shoebox placed in gorgeous decorative frames suitable for the living room in anyone’s home.  We’ll even handle that part for you.

When we return you photographs to you, you receive the new pictures in printed or digital form, or both, and you get Absolutely 100% Free Return Shipping of ALL of your belongings. You will have the old pictures with their scratches, writing, or other marks, and you will have a restored image that will last into the future.

We work with damaged photographs every day. Our work is legendary.  We understand how important and irreplaceable they are, and we have seen the anguish caused by the loss of these valuable items. Because we also do genealogical research, we have insight into the value photos have for understanding our personal and collective pasts.

Whether you are recovering from a hurricane disaster, or you are planning ahead, our company has the experience and know-how to help you preserve and restore photo collections of all kinds, for yourself, and for the generations to come.

And just one more thing... While you are thinking about protecting those photos of your ancestors, please keep in mind that Heritage offers Professional Genealogy Research and Family History Services.


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