3 Ways To Recover Photos From A Flooded Home
A flooded house is a grave inconvenience for homeowners. Along with the damage sustained on the floorboards and walls, many people keep their belongings in their basements or closets – often right on the floow, which can also get damaged as a result.
If you’re worried about dealing with sopping wet photos that are ruined forever, follow these simple steps! They can significantly reduce the damage until you can get them to a professional.
DO – Prioritize Photographs to Save
If you're dealing with large-scale damage, you might need to take a step back and assess the situation. Frantically saving whatever you can lead to further problems; it could even cause you to lose important photographs.
Reach for important photographs first. Get them out of the way of the damage and then come back for everything else. If the photographs look too damaged, make sure you get the negatives away first since they can swell. You might be able to develop your negatives into new photographs if need be. However, whatever you do, make sure to wear gloves, especially if you're dealing with contaminated water!
The “works 50% of the time” solution: Freeze Your Photos
If your photos have been in contact with moisture, it’s only a matter of time before mold starts to grow. And once there is mold on your photographs, it becomes extremely challenging to restore them.
You have around 72 hours to salvage your pictures and prevent the spread of mold. The best way to slow down the process is by putting your photos in a freezer.
BIG BIG NOTE: Don’t just toss them in. Make sure they are in an airtight container to prevent ice crystals from further damaging the pictures.
The temperature is not optimum for mold growth and can help you buy time till you contact a professional. Framed photographs should be carefully removed, and wax paper should be placed between photographs to ensure none of them stick to each other. Once frozen, you have a longer time frame to get them restored.
Best Option: Pack Wet Photos with Silica Gel.
Seriously, this works wonders. You can buy large packets of silica at any number of online and local retailers. In a pinch, you can raid the shoe closet. Shoes are almost always sold with silica gel packets inside.
This is the best way to prevent mold and quickly dry your photos. Place the photos in an airtight container with plenty of silica packets. Do NOT pour out the packets all over your pictures. Seriously… Don’t.
DON’T – Sun Dry Them
Water evaporates in the sun. So, why not place your wet photographs under direct sunlight? As it turns out, leaving your photos outside under the sun can do irreversible harm to them.
Ultraviolet rays are not a photo's best friend. In fact, direct exposure can wear the photo down and leave nothing but a shadow of what your photograph once was. When soaked in water, your photos are already in a fragile state, and leaving them under the sun will only accelerate the process. Instead, air-dry your pictures in a room with no direct exposure to sunlight. You can also place the photographs under the fan to ensure a faster drying time. This is ideal for photos that aren't stuck together. Make sure to place a towel underneath to absorb the moisture instead of letting the water pool behind your pictures.
Now that you have your photos secured, you can contact us, at Heritage, for our damaged picture restoration services in Houston, TX. We can add color, clarity, and definition back to your old photographs or even provide photo scanning services to ensure you have a digital copy for safekeeping. Contact us today for more information.