Document Drying

How Can Document Drying Be Done?

Document drying can be done with do it yourself methods or may need to be done by professionals, depending on the amount of moisture or water absorption. There are all types of drying methods. The method used for drying depends on the extent of damage that was done to the document. Some methods for drying documents,that may restore documents with water-damage, close to original condition are listed below.

• Vacuum-freeze drying

• Air-drying

• Dehumidification

Restoration Techniques For Book & Manuals:

A books bounded pages make them extremely hard to restore. Pages tend to stick together and sometimes adhere to other pages. When pages adhere to other pages irreversible damage occurs. Books with water damage may become deformed and unusable. Books can also become moldy. If caught right away there is a better chance of saving a water-damaged book. The best way to save a water damaged book is by vacuum-freeze drying it. Such document restoration is only able to be done through a restoration company. Some books or manuals may not be worth saving and may be able to be disposed of. If you have old or rare books that are irreplaceable your best chance of restoring such books is to call in the professionals. If you have manuals or books that are not as rare or important, you can try do it yourself techniques.

Restoration Techniques for small compilations & loose paper:

Restoring loose papers like licenses or certificates are easier to do then books or manuals. Such documents can be dried with a dehumidifier or a blow dryer on its lowest setting. Small compilations and loose papers can also be restored through freeze drying methods. Wet documents may be able to be put in a home freezer. However dry water-damaged documents may need to go through vacuum-freeze drying. Make sure to be especially careful when trying to restore loose documents to prevent them from smudging or tearing. When blow drying documents, lay them flat on a plain white paper towel. Paper towels with designs can bleed onto the document you are trying to restore.

Vacuum-Freeze Drying:

Special equipment is used for this method and can only be done by professional restoration companies. This method is an effective way to pull out moisture and prevent documents or books from becoming deformed. Freeze drying is also known as cryodessication or lyophilization. The wet material is frozen at -40 degrees Celsius.Once frozen the item is put in a vacuum chamber, and the temperature slowly increases to thaw the item. The item is clamped with a machine to prevent it from deforming. All though this method is effective there is still a chance that it will not restore back to its original condition. Tears or smeared ink is permanent damage.


This process may be done if the item has not been deformed. If item has been deformed it is best to use the above vacuum-freeze drying method. The chance of deformation is the main problem of using this technique. All pages should have talcum powder sprinkled on them to stop pages from sticking together. Put items in an area with a dehumidifier and make sure that the area can be enclosed. Use either a desiccant air-dry distribution or an electromechanical dehumidifier.

Drying Photographs:

Wet photographs should be dried right away. If you wait more than 48 hours you risk them molding which will cause more damage to your photographs.If photographs are stuck together do not try pulling them apart.Rinse stuck together photographs with cold water to help separate them. Avoid touching the photograph and only touch the edges.put photographs on plain white paper towels, photo side up. Allow photos to dry slowly in an enclosed area with a dehumidifier or by using a low powered hair dryer.

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