How To Save Water Damaged Photos, Books, and Documents

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How To Save Water Damaged Photos, Books, and Documents

How To Save Water Damaged Photos, Books, and Documents

After finding that water damage has affected some of your most precious belongings, what is next? This can be a very stressful time as you are most likely unsure of the extent of the damage. Instead of telling you how bad the damage could be, let us help you fix the problem. Here is how to save water damaged photos, books, and documents.

How To Save Water Damaged Photos

Depending on how much water got into your photos, the best way to salvage them immediately, believe it or not, is to put them in the freezer. This way, the water damage process is slowed as the photos begin to freeze. You can spread them out in the freezer or layer images on top of one another, using non-stick wax paper between each layer. Do not place photos directly on top of each other without a type of separator such as wax paper.

It is also important to note that if your photos are contained in a photo album, that they should be removed quickly and as carefully as possible from the time the water damage occurred.

Once ready to be salvaged, take them out of the freezer and let water drain or drip out. You can also place them out on paper towels or newspaper to help the drying process along. If the photos begin to curl, do not worry as you can use other methods to flatten them later on such as putting weights on each corner of the photo. Do not place any object that would cover the photo completely and block airflow such as a book. As always, using fans helps dry them properly, never use a hairdryer on high heat, however.

How To Save Water Damaged Books

One of the most important first steps to clean up your books just as with photographs is to let all the water drain out. This can be a tedious and long process because soaked up water, unless elevated likes to sit and therefore continues to be absorbed by the pages in the book. Keep the book closed, do not open it, and stand it upwards so that the water can drain out properly.

Sometimes putting any type of absorbent paper will help this process go a little faster. If your book is not wet but damp from water damage, you can do this same method, however, this time, open up the book and use a fan to help dry out the pages more. These are perhaps the best two methods in order to salvage any water-damaged books.

water damaged books
Two books are pictured with severe water damage.

How To Save Water Damaged Documents

As stated with other previous methods, you want to let the water drain and dry out as quickly as possible. There are a couple of extra precautions you want to take with water damaged documents, however.

Depending on the type of document such as designs, high-ink documents, certificates, etc. using paper towels to help soak up the water could actually further damage them as the ink will be stripped from the paper. For these items, let them sit on a table to dry out instead. However, with any other type of paper documents, paper towels are your best friend. Once your documents are laid out, begin to use a fan to air dry them.

Once again, most of the time paper items will begin to curl. You can use weights on each side of the paper to ensure they stay flat when drying. 

drying documents on clothes pins
Pictured above is a document being air-dried by using a clothes pin method.

Do You Need Water Damage Restoration?

Even if you know how to save water damaged photos, books, and documents, you might still need help with your water damage! If you are concerned about other possible issues regarding water damage, we can help! Rhode Island Restoration is here for you 24/7 to help you with any kind of property damage restoration in RI. We’re just a phone call away for immediate emergency property damage restoration. We also offer free quotes even after the mitigation to bring your property back to normal.

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