How to save priceless photos damaged by flooding

A few tips on how to save photographs that may have been damaged by flooding.

Harvey caused many priceless belongings to be lost or damaged in its flood waters, but there is hope for saving your photographs. 

KHOU 11 Photojournalist Keith Tomshe says the following steps should be taken to preserve those photos:

1. Separate everything out including loose photos and albums

Start by setting each image out face up.  That goes for loose photos, albums, and frames. The goal is to get everything divided before they start sticking together.

2. Start the cleaning process

     Photo Albums

  • Rinse page in distilled water or cold water
  • Dry on absorbent material
  • Keep away from the sun
  • Use putty knife, flat tool or dental floss to remove photo from page 

     Framed Photos

  • Dip the frame in distilled water
  • Do not touch the face of the photo

3. Scan the photo (curled edges are fine)

When it comes to saving photos, do what you can to get them individually dried out first.  It’s okay if the edges curl.  You can always flatten them out later when the pictures are dry.  Once the dust settles, scan your pictures to help make sure they'll weather the next storm.

© 2018 KHOU-TV


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