A few times I’ve checked e-how (How to do just everything) for different reasons. It offers a simple and handy solution to some of our questions. Since photos and books are amongst those which are normally damaged during a flood or by an untoward event, you might want to check these:
How to save flood damaged photos:
1. Set the environment for restoring the photos by lowering the humidity and temperature in the room. Limit the amount of direct sunlight. Make sure the room is as dry as possible.
2. Prioritize the photos. Fix the photos with the most damage or those without copies first. Repair color photos before black and white photos.
3. Stick the damaged photos in the freezer if you don’t have time to repair them. Put the photos into a zip bag, place the bag into a container and put them in the freezer. The cold stops the photos from deteriorating and may even suck some of the moisture out them.
4. Clean the photos in clear, cold water. Be careful not to touch the surface of the photos. Instead, swirl them around in the water to remove any mud, dirt or grime.
5. Lay the wet photos face up on blotter paper. Blotter paper is an ultra-absorbent type of paper designed to absorb moisture away from the object placed on it. You want to dry the photo as soon as possible or it may begin to mold.
6. Place small weights to the corners of the photos to limit the edges curling. Be careful not the put the weights too far onto the surface of the photo or they could damage the emulsion.
7. Hang the photos from a clothesline. If you have a number of photos to dry, carefully pin them up to a clothes line and turn oscillating fans on them. Be careful to place the fans at a safe distance so they don’t cause the photos to curl in the breeze.
How to save flood damaged books:
1. Determine the type of book you’re dealing with. Books that have glossy pages or specialty coatings can only be restored by a professional. The best odds of successful restoration lie with hard cover books and standard paper. Also, if the book is easily replaceable, it may not be worth your time and effort to attempt restoration.
2. Determine the extent of the water damage. If the book has been floating in water for days, it is likely that that glue in the binding has loosened and this reduces the chances for successful restoration. If the book has already started to grow mold, it should not be restored at home. If it is irreplaceable, a professional may attempt the restoration. On the other hand, if the book has been recently soaked and you have recovered it from the water quickly, you have an excellent chance at drying the book out successfully.
3. Insert paper towels into the book about every ten or so pages. Lay a single layer of paper towel to cover the entire page. Use a premium brand of paper towel known for its absorption. Be very gentle when opening the wet book and turning soaked pages as they will easily tear. Close the book on the paper towels carefully.
4. Pull open a baby diaper and wrap around the outside of the book. Baby diapers are incredibly absorbent and will wick out moisture in the cover of the book better than a paper towel. The inside of the diaper should touch the book’s cover.
5. Lay board over top of book and weigh it down with bricks or cans. To help absorption of the water, the book needs pressure applied to it. Center the board over the front face of the diaper-wrapped book and place bricks or cans on the board to weigh it down. Remove the board and change the paper towels for fresh ones every two hours, replacing the board when you’re done.
6. Stand the book upright in front of the fan to finish drying. When the book’s pages are only slightly damp to the touch, remove the paper towels and diaper. Stand the book up on its end with the pages fanned open in front of a fan. Check book every two hours to test dryness. When pages feel dry to the touch, turn off the fan but leave the book upright for a few days to ensure that the spine is dry.
You might also want to check:
- How to clean up after flood?
- How to fix or save a water damaged carpet?
- Food safety after flood
- How to salvage flood damaged clothing?
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0 thoughts on “How tos”
i had a lot of precious childhood photos damaged during the flood many years ago when i still lived in pasig…even my highschool yearbook was soaked beyond repair.
this is a good tip for future reference…which i hope none of us has to resort to!
.-= fortuitous faery´s last blog ..Chicago Bears’ Pink Primate =-.
informative, very helpful and useful naman toh.
teka parang iisa lang yung sinabi ko…nagalingan kasi ako.
.-= ever´s last blog ..sAgOT KaY OnDoY =-.
I love the how to’s on book recovery… Pero huwag sana mangyari ulit ang Ondoy.
.-= sheng´s last blog ..Air Supply – Even that Night is Better! =-.
This is great. Though I hope I won’t have to use this in the future.
.-= Josiet´s last blog ..Bad blogger no more =-.
nice tips. I remember once my basement was flooded by 3 inches of water because the washing machine pipe leaked duh. Luckily i was able to siphon all the water with a water vacuum pump from the commercial grade carpet and it took 2 weeks for it to normalize. I nearly had to replace the entire carpet if the stink didn’t go away 😦
.-= bw´s last blog ..A Different Kind of Help =-.
oh this is a very handy tip! when our home in iloilo got flooded, i lost most of my baby pictures to the flood. a few photos were saved but they got wet and later on became moldy so my mom had to throw them all away. 😦
.-= Glenda´s last blog ..Arnel Pineda’s Journey =-.
Ay oo! This will also be a problem for me kapag sa amin nagkaroon ng flash flood (sana huwag mangyari)…
Makapaghanap nga ng mga plastic containers na waterproof para pwedeng paglagyan ng mga photos. Ung tipong pinaglalagyan ng mga toys ng mga bata. Hmmm…I’ll scout here in Saudi baka meron.
.-= Nebz´s last blog ..As a PBA finalist, I’m gloating, sad and afraid =-.