Document Recovery FAQ

When water disasters strike we know it can be a very hectic time but there are a few things you can do to help mitigate the problems. While waiting for us to arrive prepare your site by going over our Frequently Asked Questions


What are the first steps I should take?

Often the most precious possessions people have are their pictures and documents. Quickly assess what types and quantity of items you want to save. Call us for help and we can work with you to develop a quick plan. It is not uncommon for people to have large quantities of documents that they want saved mixed with ones that could be destroyed. Instead of taking days assessing which documents belong in which category just freeze all of them. Once frozen mold growth, sticking and bleeding will stop. This will give you a chance to deal with your structure first and then deal with sorting your documents and getting them dried.

Should I try to remove the documents from their wet containers?

No… More damage may be caused due to improper handling of wet documents than the saturation event itself. Entire file, box or even filing cabinet can be placed in freezer. We can provide large portable freezers.

How likely is it that my documents can be restored?

As long as the documents are handled properly, dealt with in a timely manner and placed in a true “Vacuum” freeze drier, the likelihood of all documents being restored is very high!

Our chambers have a success rate of 100% with documents that were handled within 3 days of the damage event.

How long does it take for mold growth to occur?

Mold growth can occur in as little as 48-72 hours.

What should I do if I see mold growth?

Mold spores can spread throughout the structure and cause growth problems in previously unaffected areas. If you see mold growth on any wet documents, you should try to isolate the documents as soon as possible. If the volume is more than you can handle, it may be easier to isolate the room instead.

Once frozen how quickly do documents need to be dried?

Indefinite. Once frozen and maintained at below zero documents, books, drawings etc. can be stored for as long as needed until they are vacuum freeze dried. This is why quick freezing of items is so important.

Will documents with hand-written notations come out blurry or bleed?

No… Vacuum Freeze Drying uses a process called sublimation, which basically extracts the moisture out of the documents from a solid form directly into a gas form. Therefore, because written work is never put through a liquid form, there is no chance for bleeding. Same with printed materials, printed art and printed pictures. Even those printed in color are restorable.