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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Can Water Damaged Documents and Photos Be Restored?

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

photo of water damaged books and papers Trust SERVPRO for Document Restoration Services

The aftermaths of a water damage can be devastating, not only materially but emotionally. "Things" can be repurchased if they cannot be restored, but important documents and photographs, the memories, cannot be replaced. SERVPRO has a Document Restoration Team that uses state-of-the-art technology and techniques approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).

SERVPRO can clean and disinfect documents by hand cleaning the front and back to remove debris and surface particulates before the documents enter the drying services. Besides cleaning, SERVPRO can also vacuum freeze dry, digitize, use gamma irradiation, or certified destruction. 

Vacuum freeze drying is the preferred method of document drying because it does not alter the structure of paper fibers as some other methods can. We use a custom-designed drying chamber and the vacuum freeze drying technology to vaporize the water in affected items. This process begins with an item containing moisture that is frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation. Sublimation is the direct conversion of a solid (ice) into a gas (water vapor), without passage through the liquid stage.

Beginning the paper restoration process on important photographs, books, and vital documents as soon as possible is key to recovering damaged possessions.

Our technicians are trained to appropriately pack out all documents for transportation to the document restoration facility. The document restoration team has training and experience in various methods and techniques. 

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