How to Repair Water Damaged Pictures

Learning how to repair water damaged pictures can save many fond memories that are contained within them. However, doing so can be a little tricky if not done in the correct way.  If the photos or pictures are very expensive or completely soaked then it may be a good idea to contact a skilled photography expert. If they are only partly water damaged, then acting quickly can save the day!

How to Repair Water Damaged Pictures:

  1. The best advice to start off with is to act quickly. Leaving them around for a few days or weeks may allow mold or other organisms to grow and ruin the quality completely. Some other excellent advice is to check if a friend or relative has a copy of the negatives of the photos. If they have, then getting a copy from them is much easier than trying to repair them yourself.
  2. If this is not possible, get a tub of warm water and place them in to loosen any dirt or debris. If necessary, use more clean warm water to remove any remaining dirt.
  3. Get hold of another tub of clean water and place the photos into it. Any photos that are stuck together should not be separated but left together.
  4. If the pictures are still stuck together after being left in water, leave them together and do not try to pull them apart. If necessary repeat the process to try and try to separate them again.
  5. It is important to handle the pictures of photos at the edges. Leave them to dry in the air. Do not place over heaters or radiators. If there are some pictures that are still stuck, it may be a good idea to contact a local expert to prise them apart as it can be difficult on your own and is very easy to damage them.
  6. The next thing to do is to put the photos into freezer bags and then place them in the freezer. This will prevent any deterioration and further damage.
  7. If the photos are taken out of the freezer and allowed to air dry they should gradually lose the water that they contained.
  8. By allowing them to air dry naturally, the slow process will prevent the pictures from curling at the edges. Once fully dried your pictures should be almost back to their previous quality.
  9. A good idea if you wish to enhance the quality electronically is to take them to a photo repair centre who will be able to complete any repair process.

Well, I hope that these tips have been useful show you how to repair water damaged pictures and allow you to restore any precious or beloved pictures from water damage. We have all thought of the “what if” scenario when looking at old photos, and wondering what would happen if heaven forbid we lost them. Well, the above process has worked for many people and I hope it works for you too.

Another top tip is to get a digital copy of any important photos as these are unable to be damaged by water and will provide a safe backup of those fond and precious memories we all have.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Water Damage Cleanup February 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

My house suffered from water damage and I’m finding tips for water damage cleanup. Glad that I found this helpful post. Thanks for the share.


waterdamageexpert February 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thanks for your comment. I’m glad the article has helped you with your water damage. A few simple tricks can make a big difference when it comes to the cleanup process.


Diana V August 25, 2015 at 9:53 pm

the damage is an antique 16×12 photo of Christ, it is up in one corner, its been damaged for years already. Thanks


waterdamageexpert November 14, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Glad the tips helped.


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