How to Restore Documents: Your Guide

In 2020 alone, natural disasters cost Americans over 74 billion dollars in property damages. Those costs include the loss of irreplaceable personal documents.

Your important documents can be damaged by floods, mold, fire, water leaks, and much more. However, it is possible to replace your documents through document restoration.

If you need to restore documents, read on. This article will explain document restoration and how it works. You’ll know what to expect when it’s time to restore your documents after a natural disaster.

What Is Document Restoration?

Document restoration recovers important papers that have been damaged, whether by natural disasters, mold, or improper storage. This can include:

  • Personal papers, such as birth certificates
  • Family photos and memorabilia
  • Historical documents including photographs, handwritten papers, and journals

If your place of work has sustained damage from a natural disaster, you may need document restoration for your professional records as well. 

Physical Document Restoration

Mildly damaged documents are eligible for physical document restoration. This can include:

  • Removing mold from the paper’s surface
  • Trimming the paper to excise damaged portions
  • Re-setting or re-binding the document

Physical document restoration can also involve document de-acidification to slow paper breakdown.

Digital Document Restoration

In some cases, the documents to be restored might be so damaged that it’s impossible to restore them physically. If your document is extremely old or highly damaged, turn to digital restoration instead.

With digital document restoration, digital archivists use scanners and document restoration software to produce a new copy of your document. The new copy will look virtually the same as the old. However, the disfiguring marks (from mold, writing, burns, and more) will be gone.

When Do I Need Document Restoration?

You might need to restore your documents at any time. Damage from water leaks, mold, and natural paper degradation can harm your important papers.

However, document restoration is especially important after your house or place of work has been damaged by a natural disaster. Make document restoration one of the steps you take towards recovery after a fire, flood, earthquake, or other major damage to your home.

After a natural disaster, you’ll hire a restoration contractor to repair and restore your belongings. The restoration company will pack up your belongings and transport them to their restoration facility. This is called a contents packout

If you’re preparing for a contents packout, plan ahead. Collect and organize your documents to give to your restoration contractor. That way, you’ll be ready to restore your documents as soon as possible. 

Restore Documents With Confidence

If your documents have been damaged, there’s still hope to get your important papers back. Finding the right digital archivist to restore documents can help you on the road to recovery after a fire, flood, or another natural disaster in your home or work.

If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog. You’ll find more great insights and lifestyle tips.