Important documents need to be kept in a safe and secure location. If there is a water leakage in a place where you have kept all of your important documents, it could lead to a serious problem.
The paper might get wet and get mushy, and that could ultimately lead to its destruction. If these are important documents that need to be kept in a safe and secure location, you have to take action quickly and carefully.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know anything about how to dry wet paper, and often end up making mistakes that cause more damage. For instance, if you hold the paper tightly in your hand, it may tear off completely.
Documents such as antique family photos, old degrees or statements might get wet due to a number of reasons. But, knowing how to dry them off properly is vital. Moreover, this problem can escalate quickly.
For instance, mold might begin to grow over time in the area that has sustained water damage. Mold growth can be harmful, as it can spread rapidly throughout the shelves where the paper has been kept, and could eventually lead to a complete teardown.
More importantly, the thing that should worry you the most is paper distortion. Paper distortion is also a serious problem, which means you could end up losing all of your important data as soon as water comes into contact with it.
The ink might begin to spread, and it’s going to be incredibly difficult for you to restore the document if that happens.
So, how do you dry the wet paper? Here are a few strategies that will work.
1 – Air Drying for a Small Number of Papers
If you don’t have a large stack of papers that have gotten wet, you should consider using air drying as the prime method. Spread them out as much as you can, and then use a portable or a pedestal fan to air dry.
This method is most useful for a stack that is under 200 documents, because anything more is going to thicken the stack further, and that’s going to make it impossible for you to air dry them properly.
However, if you have a small number of papers in your hand that have gotten wet, you will just want to use an air drying solution.
There are some important things that you need to keep in mind along with this. First of all, you need to understand that air drying is a more labor intensive method, which means you will be spending quite a bit of your time poring over each and every document to dry it completely.
Needless to say, this is quite a bit of hassle.
On the other hand, you should know that air drying glossy paper isn’t a wise move. To prevent damage to the paper itself, you should consider freezing them altogether.
Freezing the paper will preserve its integrity and will also ensure that the water doesn’t distort the image.
2 – Lay it on a Flat Surface
Arguably one of the best ways to dry the paper is to just lay it down on a flat surface. Most people tend to panic when they spill a liquid on important pieces of paper.
However, if you are careful and composed, you can escape without having to worry about much damage.
First, you need to lay the papers down on a flat surface. Separate them from each other and lay them apart.
Keep in mind that drying the paper can take up to several hours, so you should know to place them on a surface that you are going to use later on.
Use a surface where the paper can lie undisturbed for long periods of time. If there are a couple of papers that are bound together, you should place them together, but do not stack them on top of one another.
Also, it’s highly recommended that you choose a room where the humidity levels are lower, and where the air can circulate freely. This is going to improve the time it takes to dry the paper.
3 – Use a Towel
Rubbing a towel on the paper is going to tear it to shreds. It’s a common mistake that many people make, and it’s one that can cause excessive destruction.
Before you start drying the paper, you should consider using a towel to soak away the excess moisture from the paper.
Take a clean, white towel, and dab it very gently on the wet paper. The towel is going to help get rid of the moisture. If there are multiple papers in a particular document, you should insert a tissue paper or a conventional paper towel after every 10 to 12 pages.
This way, you will be able to achieve even dryness on the paper.
All the excess moisture will be lifted from the stack quickly. More importantly, don’t leave the paper towels in between the stack; take them out because they are probably going to be dripping wet.
4 – Use an Oscillating Fan
If you have an oscillating fan in the house, you can use it to dry the paper quickly. Just position the fan in a way so that it covers all of the papers that you have laid down, and let it do the magic.
Oscillating fans are able to achieve quicker dryness as compared to leaving the paper on a flat surface undisturbed.
5 – Use a Sturdy Object
If you want to quickly dry a piece of paper completely, you should consider using a sturdy object and place it on top of the paper. The weight of the object is going to help you completely dry out the paper and get rid of all the moisture within.
This is an effective method, but you have to make sure that you do not move the object while the paper is underneath. Even the slightest of movement could cause friction and eventually lead to a tear in the paper.