Keeping Your Photos Safe: Water Damage

Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a scrapbooking class about photo preservation. The hot topic of the night seemed to be protecting your photographs. Almost every question asked was about how to properly store your photos, how to protect them when putting them into your albums, and what to place near and not place near the photographs on a layout. All good questions, as well as ultimately important to the longevity of your scrapbooks and memories.

Although it seems obvious that someone would not store their photographs near water, you’d be surprised at how many people do not realize they are at risk. Storing photographs in a basement or garage, not only puts the photographs and risk for temperature change damage, but both locations are near water sources. In other words, what if your washing machine overflowed? What if a bathroom or pipes upstairs began leaking? What if the rain seeped in through a garage door? Keep your precious photographs out of these two locations no matter what.

However, what if you store them on the floor of your closet? What is behind your closet? Hopefully not a bathroom. What would happen if your bathroom overflowed? Many scrapbookers, scrapbook at the kitchen table. Where are their supplies stored? Sometimes on the floor of large pantries, or in cabinets. Hopefully, if they are in cabinets they are far enough away from the floor that they are safe. But what if the dishwasher backed up?

Avoid storing your photographs on the floor of any room of your house. Not only are they more likely to get ruined by water damage if something unexpected would take place, but they are also more likely to become dusty, have things spilled on them or have an animal get into them. There is nothing like a prized photograph with chew marks.

I heard many horror stories the night of my class. It was awful to hear the different things that had happened to fellow scrapbookers. However, the one thing I heard most often, was water damage. So protect your photographs by keeping them on shelves, high above and not underneath, anywhere that might cause a problem.

For other helpful tips on preservation of scrapbooking items, see related articles below, or visit the scrapbooking blog. You can also ask questions, get advice, share tips or build friendships in the Scrapbooking and Paper Crafts forum.

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