The process of document drying is a significant process since it basically salvages classified and personal written materials. The primary cause for documents to become wet is water damage. Documents can range from photographic media, microfiche, and paper records to microfilm. To fully recover water damaged documents, there are several types of document drying that can be used. |
Sealing the film is one type of document drying. Since photographic media aren't immune to water damage, these need to be saved immediately. Basically, microfilms, x-ray films and microfiches have to be placed in a box and sealed. Afterwards, they need to be refrigerated at a temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to organize and figure out what has been recovered, an inventory of the documents should be made.
Freezing paper is another type of document drying that can be used. To avoid completely damaging the contents of the documents, this type of document drying can prevent blocking and ink smears. Accounting for all the documents that need to be dried is the first thing you need to do. The second thing that needs to be done is to use plastic liners to cover all the documents. Afterwards, you need to prepare the documents to be palletized by placing them inside a box. From there, all you need to do is transfer the box into a freezer. The damage incurred by the documents will temporarily be stopped until full restoration begins.
The third type of document drying entails separating vellum and leather bound documents. The drying process should be minimized to a slow pace since the documents are made out of animal skin. Since these documents are highly flammable, it is crucial that none of these materials be exposed to heat. Keep in mind that vellum and leather bound documents can only go through freezing and drying processes.
Reprocessing of microforms is the fourth type of document drying that can be used. Through a state-of-the art piece of machinery, microfilm that has incurred water damage is reprocessed to its original form. Furthermore, this can also be done manually on fiche and photographic film so that it doesn't get more exposed to water. After it is wet processed and thawed, the microforms and microfilm are restored.
Freeze drying frozen paper documents is the last type of document drying. Through sublimation, which is simply a process wherein its solid state is turned into a vapor state, the documents are salvaged. When this is done, a vacuum needs to be placed inside a freeze dry chamber along with the documents.
Various Tips to Help Save Your Water Damaged Documents
Aside from the mentioned types of document drying, there are various tips that you can use to help save your documents from further water damage. One tip you can use is to insert wax paper between documents that have incurred water damage. Once you have done this, it is highly advisable to wrap them inside individual plastic bags. Do not forget to immediately transfer them into a freezer so they can still be salvaged.
Another handy tip that you can use is to allow your documents to dry by airing them out in an open space. Keep in mind that the documents are prone to being blown away by the fans so make sure that the room is large enough to keep them set down on the floor. This may take a lot of time compared to the different types of document drying. However, if you are on a budget, this will save you a lot of money.
Furthermore, dehumidification is another tip you can use. This entails using large dehumidifiers in keeping temperatures and moisture at a balanced and consistent level. The dehumidifiers essentially seep the water from the room and the damaged documents as well. Unlike airing out documents naturally, this tip may cost you a lot more money. The benefit of this tip however, is that it will speed up the drying process.
Vacuum thermal drying is another helpful tip that can save you the stress of spending a lot of money or having to wait a long time for the documents to dry. You must remember though that thermal drying has certain steps that need to be followed. Storing the documents into the vacuum device is the first step that needs to be done. From here, a secondary vacuum seeps the moisture from the damaged documents while hot air is being blown out within the mechanism. You can be assured that your documents will be saved by using this advanced form of technology.
Vacuum-freezing is the last tip you can use and all you need is a vacuum mechanism. Always remember to place the documents in a container of ice until you start transferring them into the mechanism. What basically happens is that the frozen documents are converted into gas particles and end up evaporating into the air. Once al the moisture has evaporated, the documents will be left dry.
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