Document Recovery After a Flood

Most businesses, libraries, courthouses, and law offices have basement or storage room full of documents, and while they may not use the documents in everyday work, they are still important to how the company functions. So, what happens to all these important documents when there is a flood, a pipe burst, or some huge natural disaster? Many people would say that there is no way to recover all that important paperwork however, there is! Around the country there are document recovery specialists that use a combination of cutting-edge techniques and equipment to restore your documents.

Document recovery specialists have several tools available to help restore your documents, such as vacuum freeze drying, desiccant air drying, cleaning and sterilization, or digital imaging. 

Vacuum Freeze-Drying – The documents are placed in an airtight chamber where negative vacuum pressure is generated. The documents transmute rapidly from the frozen state to completely dry minus the worry of the reliquification phase.

Desiccant Air Drying – Documents are places on shelves in a room and desiccant dehumidification is applied. A desiccant dehumidifier is a compressor-based dehumidifier that uses a compressed refrigerant to cool metal coils (evaporator coils). The hot humid air that enters the dehumidifier condenses on these cool coils. This leaves the air that exhausts out of the dehumidifier still warm but drier than when it entered. Desiccant dehumidifiers work quite differently. Instead of using condensation (on cold evaporator coils) to remove humidity from air, desiccant dehumidifiers use a chemical (called a desiccant) to do so. This process is repeated, gradually removing the moisture from the damaged documents. Drying the documents with this process can take up seven days which is longer than other methods, but some companies prefer.

Cleaning and Sterilization – When the documents have dirt, grime, or fungi spores present each page needs to be cleaned. To clean each page the restoration company will use sponges and scrubbing pad, they will also take care to avoid using and liquid solutions that can reactivate the moisture in the documents. The restoration company could also use a HEPA vacuum system and gamma irradiation to disinfect and sterilize the contaminated materials.

Document restoration requires a large investment in specialized equipment and in-depth professional training. For many companies the specific equipment and training for sensitive document recovery falls outside of their capabilities however the companies that can restore your documents will often provide services above and beyond.