There was a flood in my storage. Items were removed within 24 hours. How can I save the images and negatives?

  • 1
    Could you please edit the question to make it a bit clearer? "Items were removed within 24 hours and played to" doesn't make much sense. We understand you've probably been dealing with a lot of chaos recently, but the clearer you are about what happened to the photos and negatives after they were removed from the flood water, and how long it has been since they were removed, the more likely it is that we can help you.
    – Michael C
    Sep 15 '20 at 3:16

If possible, you'll want/need to immediately separate the film sheets or strips while still wet, and remove them from any archive sleeves, and store them immersed in room temperature, clean water as you work.

Longer term, you'll need to rewash each film item in clean water, reapply wetting agent or appropriate process-specific final rinse (C-41 final rinse, for instance, contains antifungal and antibacterial agents that will be helpful in future longevity of contaminated film), and dry them before remounting or resleeving in archival sleeves.

If the items weren't stored wet, there is likely to be permanent, irreparable damage because the gelatin that makes up most of a photographic emulsion is also a very powerful adhesive (top quality furniture is assembled with glue made from gelatin).


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