Emergency Procedures for Restoring Wet Photos

One of the first questions asked by those who have experienced flooding and water damage in their home is “can my photos be saved?” If the damage to your photo collection is severe, you may want to consider hiring a professional conservator to do the work. Companies that specialize in digital photo restoration can also create digital images of photos that aren’t damaged severely and recreate them through specialized software. When dealing with water damaged photos, there are three very important rules to always remember: Avoid touching: Never touch the image on a wet photograph. The same is true for wet negatives. Halt further damage: Soggy photographs must be placed in the freezer or air dried immediately. The longer they remain wet, the more damage they sustain. Placing them in an environment that halts the process of destruction is essential to the recovery process and...

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Tips for Drying Books or Paper Collections Damaged by Water

This article will provide tips for mitigating damage by water to maps, documents, posters, letters, stamps and other paper collections. Following these tips won’t guarantee recovery of all items, but will should help you minimize the damage. Obviously the sooner you can begin the drying process the better. In 2014, the state of Washington experienced flooding in their archive and records center, but all of the documents and collections were able to be restored and saved from the water damage due to quick remediation procedures. Note: Safety First! Remember the importance of wearing the proper coverings for your eyes, arms and hands, especially when dealing with damaged items due to flooding where waters could have been contaminated. Always be sure the environment you are working in is safe before trying to dry your collection. If there is any question about this be sure to call...

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A Broken Pipe at the Washington Archive Center Leads to Indoor Flooding

A few weeks back on April 26, 2014 at the Washington State Archives and Records Center in Olympia, sometime late on the previous Thursday night or during the early morning hours on Friday, a water pipe burst and began flooding the building. By the time employees came to work around 7:00 am, they discovered a flood of water that had affected around 10,000 documents, including the original Washington State Constitution. Since the flooding happened on the top floor, the water seeped down into other areas of the building, and into archived documents, which included things such as marriage records, death and birth certificates, deeds, and other vital documents. Fortunately, all of the documents were able to be saved. The reason that the Archives and Records Center was able to save those 10,000 precious documents is because they were able to IMMEDIATELY contact water damage experts...

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