Water damage to photographs (film)

circulation

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Hi. This is my first post. I am very interested in photography and wish it were under different circumstances that I were posting.

A month ago I had a water leak in my basement. Just yesterday I found that water had gotten into a box of photos 10 to 25 years old that had been developed from film. The photos sat in that closed box very damp for a month.

I laid all the photos out on my floor. They seem to be dry now. Most are okay and just have folded corners and some transparent gunk on them. Some are stuck together and can be removed with some damage. Some are totally stuck together.

I am concerned about cleaning the gunk off of the photos and about recurrent mold growth. Is there an optimal cleaner to clean the gunk and prevent recurrent mold growth without damaging the photos? Do I even have to worry about recurrent mold growth if the photos have been thoroughly dried? Also, is it okay to store them in zip-lock bags as I organize them?

I would appreciate any advice. I know this is a photography forum, and wasn't sure if this is appropriate, so please let me know. Thank you.
 

SoulfulRecover

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In all honesty your best bet might be to have them scanned at a lab and cleaned up in photoshop, then reprinted.
 

Light Guru

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Do I even have to worry about recurrent mold growth if the photos have been thoroughly dried? Also, is it okay to store them in zip-lock bags as I organize them?

Yes you do have to worry about continued mold damage. Bag anything with mold on it separately so that mold does not spread to the others.

In all honesty your best bet might be to have them scanned at a lab and cleaned up in photoshop, then reprinted.

Yup this is your best option. If you still have the negatives scan from those.
 

limr

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Agree - if you have the negatives, just get reprints. If there are no negatives, then scan the prints that aren't too damaged (you can also clean them up digitally before reprinting, if you choose to reprint.)
 
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circulation

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Thanks for the advice. Don't have negatives so I will scan, cleanup where possible, and reprint.
 

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