Document & Media Recovery
After a major building damage event has occurred, like a flood or fire, it would be easy to assume that all of the documents inside have been lost forever. Fortunately, that is not always the case. Even if the building has suffered significant damage, it might be possible to restore some or even all of the documents that were housed within. The results of the restoration process will vary wildly from one job to the next, but the best first step is to contact Claremont to get started right away.
Can All Documents Be Restored?
An amazing number of different types of items can potentially be restored after sustaining damage. Claremont works hard to save as much as possible for each and every client, whether to preserve the historical value of the item, or just to save money down the line. Paper documents and printed photographs are common objects that are targeted for restoration, but those are just the start.
Collections of books are often stored together in buildings, and as such, a large number of volumes can be damaged all at once in some cases. Also, magazines, video and audio tapes, maps, compact discs, blueprints, and other materials may also be damaged when a fire or flood impacts a building.
Don’t Make This Mistake
In the immediate aftermath of the event that has damaged a building, it’s a mistake for an untrained eye to assess the damage. To someone who doesn’t work in the restoration business, it might look like everything in the structure is a lost cause and should be thrown out. Don’t do it! Whether or not your documents can be saved is yet to be seen, but don’t assume that all is lost just because it looks ugly to you at the moment.
With modern techniques and a lot of experience, the average person is often amazed at what actually can be saved. If you simply toss everything out before it is looked at carefully by a professional, you might wind up losing the opportunity to restore items that could have been recovered.
The Technique Depends on the Damage
At Claremont, we always have a variety of restoration techniques at our disposal. It’s important to have diverse options on hand because the right form of restoration will depend not only on the type of item that has been damaged, but also the form of damage it received. Three of the main types of damage are water, fire, and mold.
• Document restoration after a fire. Items that have actually been burned are rarely able to be saved, of course. However, if an item has suffered smoke damage as a result of being in a building where there was a fire, restoration may be possible. Deodorization, ionized air washing, particulate removal sponges, and more can all be attempted to improve the condition of individual items.
• Document restoration after a flood. Water damage can be particularly troublesome depending on the item. Paper documents and photographs that get wet in a flood are sometimes discarded as trash before any attempt to save them has been made. Claremont has successfully saved many such items previously, with the help of methods like vacuum freeze dryers, desiccant drying, molecular sieves, and more.
• Moldy document restoration. Mold can be dangerous, so documents affected with mold or mildew should always be handled by a professional crew. Even if the mold damage on part of a document is permanent, it might be possible to save another part of the item through the application of professional techniques.
Photographs Deserve Special Attention
By their very nature, photographs are not something that can be reproduced later. They represent a capture of that single moment in time, which is never coming back. So, if a photograph of particular importance is damaged in a flood or fire, Claremont will work hard to save the picture to be enjoyed for generations to come.
As document and media recovery experts, Claremont will dispatch our emergency response team to your site with 24 hours of getting your call.
Call 713.661.0400 if you need immediate attention to a large scale property loss.