If your home has recently been flooded, whether due to a pipe bursting or a natural disaster, it might seem like the first thing you'll need to do is throw away the items that have sustained water damage. However, there is one thing that you should not necessarily throw away -- photographs. Photographs often cannot be replaced, so it's worth it to try to save them. Just make sure that you do not do these three things with your photographs after a flood, and there's a good chance that a professional can restore them for you. After the trauma of your home being flooded, this can be welcome and comforting news.
1. Peel Them Apart
If your photos were stacked on top of one another when the flood hit, there's a chance that they might now be "stuck" together. Your first instinct might be to attempt to pull them apart, but you will not want to do this if you want to avoid damaging them permanently. Instead, hold them under a stream of running water; the gentle force of the running water might be enough to cause them to come apart. If not, take them as-is to a photo developer to see if he or she can repair them.
2. Handle Them Excessively
Even though you might have to handle your photographs some in an attempt to save them, you will not want to handle them excessively when they are wet and damaged from a flood. Otherwise, your fingers can cause smudging and can make the photos that much more difficult to restore. Instead, try to keep your hands off of them as much as possible. When you do handle them, try to handle them by the corners to minimize damage.
3. Allow Them to Stay Wet
Allowing your photographs to stay wet any longer than necessary can increase the damages and can cause mildew or mold growth. Lay them out on a flat surface to allow them to dry thoroughly. Consider turning on a fan in the vicinity to help encourage them to dry more quickly, but avoid pointing the fan directly at the photographs.
If you want to save your photographs after a flood, there are a few things that you should not do. Along with not throwing them away just yet, you should also avoid these three things. Then, you can take your water damaged photographs to a pro to attempt to have them restored.
Contact a company like Flood Damage Restoration for more help.