Salvaging Photographs After a Flood

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Of all of the things that flood waters damage, perhaps one of the most difficult for people to cope with are photographs. Many of our pictures are irreplaceable and have sentimental value. There are a number of different ways to handle photographs, depending on their type and how long they may have been submerged in water.

The best advice on how to salvage wet photographs comes from those who work in the preservation and conservation field. Conservators recommend that if you do not have time to dry photographs immediately, or if they have stuck together, you should wrap them in wax paper and put them in the freezer. When you have time to go back and begin the cleaning process, you can defrost them and the will they will be easier to separate.

If you have time to restore now, follow the instructions for cleaning and separating provided by the Northeast Document Conservation Center.