When Your Photos Get Wet

In light of the recent extreme flooding in Houston, I have had many people ask me what to do with wet photos.

The good news is that in many cases they can be salvaged!

NOTE:  If you do not have time to deal with wet photos immediately, place them in the freezer.  This will stop any further damage from occurring or mold from growing.  When you are ready to work on them, let them thaw out and gently try to separate them.

1.  If the photos were in an album, try to gently remove them from the sleeves.  If they start to tear stop!  Let the album dry first and then try again.  Once you have removed the photos, lay them photo side up on a paper towel to dry.

2.  If the photos are wet and stuck together, you can gently immerse them in water for anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour until they separate.  Watch them carefully as the way they were developed or printed will affect how they hold up in the water.  You can gently peel them apart but be very careful here not to touch the image while the photo is wet.  Once you have separated the photos, lay them photo side up on a paper towel to dry.

3.  If the photos are in a glass frame, you should scan the photo first to ensure you have a copy before trying to remove it from the frame.  If the photo has dried it will likely stick to the glass.  You might be better off consulting with a professional photo restoration company in this case.

4.  If you have wet memory cards, treat them as you would other electronics.  Put them into ziploc bags with fresh, dry rice and allow the water to draw out for a few days.

I hope this helps.  If you have any questions or if there is any way I can help, please do not hesitate to contact me at oritcm@yahoo.com or (713) 899-3324