One of the saddest things about the aftermath of a flood is seeing your precious and irreplaceable photos lying in a pool of water. A couch or a dining room table can be dried out or repurchased, but nothing can re-capture those special moments with your friends and family. The good news is that your wedding, vacation, family and other photos can be restored in most cases, if you act quickly.

Steps for restoring and fixing your photos

1. Don’t delay.

The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be able to restore your photos. You want to begin working on your photos before they have a chance to dry out and stick together. Peeling them apart after they’ve dried will often damage the face of the photos. Ideally, your photos shouldn’t stay wet for more than two or three days.

2. Rinse the photos in cold, clear water.

Begin by rinsing the photos in cold, clear water that you change frequently. Do not put the photos directly under the tap as they can affect the chemicals on the face of the photos and further damage them. Repeat the process until the water is clear.

3. Rinse again.

After the initial rinse, use a cotton ball or soft cloth to gently remove any debris that might still be attached to the photo and rinse again.

4. Hang dry.

Allow your photos to dry gradually by hanging them on a clothesline in a place where they won’t be exposed to dust. (A closed bathroom or utility closet will work for this.)

5. Gently press if necessary.

If your photos are curled after they’ve dried thoroughly, lightly moisten the back of the photo, place it between two pieces of acid-free paper or photo blotter and place a heavy book or other weight atop the three pieces. Leave without disturbing the bundle for a day or two.

6. Accept that they may not be perfect.

While this process will take away most of the damage caused by the flood water, your photos will probably not be quite as pristine as they were before the damage. However, the good news is that you will still be able to enjoy them and share them with friends and family in the years to come. While it can be traumatic to see your photos lying in a pool of water after a flood, these precious memories can often be restored to nearly their original condition. The secret is to act quickly and be patient while rinsing off the tainted water and drying the images.   Water Damage can be a serious problem for any Arizona home or business. At Zona Restoration, we pride ourselves on being able to get things back to normal after major or minor water damage. Contact us today to learn more.