How to Recover Important Documents and Files after a Flood or Fire

By: edm

Keeping vital documents and files is imperative for every institution or individual. This can be for future reference, historic, or administrative purposes. However, your most treasured documents can be negatively affected in the event of floods or fire. What happens then? Today, you can recover your documents whether the damage is small or extensive. The process of document recovery is even more successful if you prepare ahead and act on time.

Disaster planning

Disaster planning is the key to successful document restoration. It involves;

  • Assessing possible risks.
  • Mitigating risks.
  • Writing an ideal plan.
  • Initial response as well as the best restoration documents efforts. The tips below will help you to recover your documents in the most efficient way. Before you hire document recovery services, you need to engage in an emergency recovery plan regardless of the type of document / media you want to recover.

Emergency Paper Restoration Procedure

Emergency Paper Restoration Procedure

1. Enhance air circulation in a recovery room

It is vital that you stabilise the environment where you need to recover the documents. Ensure thorough air circulation in the room by opening all doors and windows. You can also use an HVAC system for enhanced air circulation.

2. Reduce humidity in the room

It is wise that you get rid of all sheets and plastic tarps in the room. This is because they often create a greenhouse environ that will make your recovery process a daunting task.

If possible, use a dehumidifier if you have someone to help you in the recovery process.

Reduce room temperatures to an average of 50 or 60 degrees. It helps to slow down the deterioration of your most treasured records and it ensures a smooth documents paper recovery.

Document Restoration Flood Damage

Document Restoration: Flood Damage

The utmost damage to paper documents from floods or water occurs within 8 hours. This is why it is always recommended that you begin old document restoration as soon as it occurs. Assess the damage, stabilise the area and start the recovery process. This can be done through

Air Drying

Air drying is one of the best strategies that will help you to recover your documents successfully. This is more ideal for a small and large number of records. It also stabilises the environment while keeping your documents safe and free from harm.

Recovery process

  • Set up a good and clean cover on the table in a safe room or place.
  • Use milk crates to remove all wet records and folders from the flooded area.
  • Discard file and document folders to ensure all your documents dry well.
  • Keep all records in order while taking note of what is written in the file folder before you discard it.
  • For individual records, keep them in a separate place.
  • Air dry all your documents for 30 to 48 hours and store them in new files.


Freezing is also an ideal document recovery method that is widely used by document restoration companies. It works best when you are trying to recover many records that cannot be restored through air drying.

Recovery process

Remove all documents from the damaged area to the recovery area.

Arrange your documents through old document restoration services for you to transport them to freezer storage. Document recovery and restoration companies have highly efficient free dry chambers that you can use to dry your documents.

Avoid shrinking wrap wet boxes because you will damage their original shape once they are sent to the freezer storage.

Damaged paper can also be placed in a freezing chamber under an intense vacuum. This process is efficient because it extracts vapour from different documents and files. It is also an excellent method that works best on structural documents, but it should not be used on documents containing artwork.

For documents made of organic material, ensure they are kept in the cold storage immediately the damage occurs. It helps to prevent rapid growth of mould.

If the documents are waterlogged, it is wise that they are aligned and kept in a freezer at -18 degrees c. It helps you to recover the documents in their original shapes.

Most importantly, document preservation services can decontaminate the documents during the recovery process. This is imperative because often, flood waters carry harmful and deadly pathogens that can significantly damage your historic document restoration services.

Keep all restored documents safe and in the right files to avoid a mix up of useful information.

How To Restore Old Paper Documents

How To Restore Old Paper Documents

Old paper documents can become brittle or yellow over time. They may also fade or get damaged in the event of flood or fire incidences. True restoration is a challenging process but with the help of the best paper restoration services, you can always get the desired results.


First, stabilise the temperatures and humidity to reduce the impact of water damage paper and further deterioration.

Store all documents in a dry and dark place and on a flat surface. Limit exposure to light by all possible means and handle water damaged paper using gloves.


Cleaning is an important part of documents repair. Remover all crumbs on paper to get rid of all surface dirt, foxing and other stains caused by water or fire damage.

When cleaning, you need to be extremely careful, especially when you are handling sensitive documents such as diploma restoration. Avoid aggressive methods because they thin and tear paper leading to more damage.

If you are not well conversant with the document recovery process, it is imperative that you seek help from a well-reputed records recovery services company. Professionals understand how delicate a documents recovery process can be and they will always employ the right strategies to safe and successful recovery. What’s more, record recovery services experts have the best tools to;

  • Remove any old acidic mount from your documents or records.
  • Cleans and removes all dirt as well as surface marks for quality.
  • Gets rid of stains, old tapes, foxed spots and side-lines from paper.
  • Repairs tears in document paper.
  • Uses special tools to flatten any rolled paper.
  • Consolidates any flaking media or ruined paper.
  • Mounts posters, pastels and large maps to ensure successful restoring documents
  • Repairs and mounts parchments.

how to recover water damaged photos

How to recover water damaged photos 

When disaster hits, your treasured family photos can also be damaged. While it can be quite a challenging task to recover water damaged photos, using the right recovery process or hiring an expert can make the whole process successful. You can save and restore water damaged photos by employing the following tips:

  • Lift the photos carefully from the water and remove any waterlogged album.
  • Separate any photo or album that could be stacked together. Do not rub the photos against each other because it can damage the pictures.
  • Rinse both sides of the photos using clear, clear cold water.
  • Lay each photo facing up on a clean paper towel or blotting paper. Do not use printed paper towels or newspapers for water damaged photos restoration. The ink in the paper can transfer to the photos. Most essentially, try to change the blotting paper until all the photos are dried up for the best-restoring water damaged photos results.

It is highly recommended that you dry the photos inside a clean and wet room because wind and sun can curl the photos quickly damaging the pictures.

You also need to clean each water damage photo or wet photo in clean water, stack the wet photo in a sheet of wax paper, and seal using the right plastic bag. This is an efficient method of restoring water damaged photos if you do not have time to dry out all the photos.

If possible, you can also freeze water damage picture, it helps to inhibit the damage. Furthermore, it allows you to defrost, separate and air dry water-damaged photograph.

Tips To Handling And Restoring Water-Damaged Pictures

Tips to handling and restoring water-damaged pictures

Remove water damaged paper immediately to prevent the growth of moulds, pictures sticking together and to ensure the restoration process is successful.

Always start by removing wet photographs that have no negatives to minimize damages and for smooth water damaged photos restoration

If your pictures are framed, gently remove them from the flood to avoid photo emulsion on water damage paper.  Keep the photo and the glass intact and while holding both, carefully separate the water damage picture from the glass.

A point to note is that water damaged photographs restoration process involves careful removal of marks, stains and tears and enhancing the overall brightness, colour balance, contrast and every detail that has been captured in the water damaged photo.

Therefore, take time to learn how to fix water damaged paper and restore water damaged photos in a way that brings back beautiful memories. You can also hire professional damaged photographs restoration service providers for expert help. Professionals will restore faded water damage pictures, remove objects or unwanted sights from the background of water damaged photos.

For water damaged pictures that have microfilm, you can always clean them using a soft cloth moistened in a microfilm cleaning film. If the photos are charred, a professional photographs restoration service provider can copy and restore the photos using expert tools and processes. Therefore, in the event of floods or fire accident, you can contact the best documents and files restoration service provider immediately to mitigate the impact.

Most importantly, contact The Alternative Accommodation, for your emergency accommodation when you are adversely affected by floods or fire. The company offers swift and amazing accommodation solutions that match your needs.

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