Q. How do I salvage family photos affected by flooding? Some are now moldy.


Photos are precious, I know. However, if they are moldy chances are even if you try to wash them in cold water the emulsion will float off. If you have moldy photos make sure they are completely dry, dust off mold spore very gently with a soft cloth or brush (stay downwind), and store in Ziplocs. Plan to reformat. It’s amazing what can be done in PhotoShop to bring the images back.

If they are stuck together but no mold damage, try floating them in clean (distilled?) room temperature water to see if they will release, but keep the immersion time to a minimum (30 minutes max). Don’t rub!!! (I warned you!). Then dry flat/thoroughly separately from one another (do not stack). Photos that are coated in mud/debris or have salt damage do the same.

Framed photos are also tricky. Often if they are stuck you will damage them trying to remove them. Again, plan to reformat…

There’s a great leaflet here that you all should read: https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/3.-emergency-management/3.7-emergency-salvage-of-wet-photographs

  • Last Updated Oct 30, 2019
  • Views 4
  • Answered By Karen Kiorpes

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