Preserving Your Most Treasured Newspaper Article from Water Damage

Every now and again, there is a story in the newspaper about you or a loved one that becomes a cherished part of your family’s history. This article is one that you want to save, to keep intact to preserve a precious memory or moment in time.

This article, whatever the subject, whoever it honors, is a treasured keepsake, any want to make sure that it lasts for as long as possible, so you take steps to preserve it, such as:

  • Treating the pages with a special spray to neutralize the high acid content of the paper.
  • Separating the individual pages with acid-free tissue paper
  • Placing the paper in a box and then you put that box in a cool, dry place.

Doing the above can help prolong the life of the article you wish to preserve for a long time, but what can you do when your article is subjected to water damage?

What happens when that cool, dry storage area you are keeping your news article in gets flooded by water?

Saving a Newspaper From Water Damage

Thankfully, while heavy water exposure can be very damaging to newspaper, it isn’t always a death sentence for your article. If your newspaper article does get wet, there are a few things that you can do to preserve the paper and keep the article intact:

  • Because wet paper tears VERY easily, be sure to exercise extreme caution when handling a wet newspaper article. Provide full support for the weight of the paper, optimally by placing the paper on a fine mesh surface, one that is rust-proof.
  • If the water that the paper was soaked in was dirty, gently rinse the dirt from the page with clean water.
  • Try to keep the paper in a well-ventilated, brightly-lit area. Many forms of mold grow best in dark, damp environments, and keeping you wet newspaper articles in a brightly lit room can stymie the growth of mold spores.
  • Separate the pages of the newspaper with sheets of wax paper if possible.
  • If the paper is folded, do not attempt to unfold it while it is still wet. If it is wet, you risk tearing the pages.
  • One other commonly-recommended trick is to seal the paper in a zip-loc style plastic bag and store it in the freezer. This keeps the ink on the page from running, and slows the deterioration of the wet paper. This can help to buy you time to take the paper to a professional restorer who has the training and experience to salvage a heavily damaged newspaper.

Preventative Measures

Of course, the best way to save your article from water damage is to be prepared ahead of time. By storing the article you wish to preserve separately from the rest of the paper, you can make the task of saving that particular article much simpler. Two pages that are soaked together can be very difficult, if not impossible, to separate from one another without causing damage to one page or the other.

For example, if the story you want to preserve is on page 13B, deep in the pages of the paper, then it would be incredibly challenging to safely remove the article from a soggy paper, even under the best of circumstances. However, if the page or pages holding that article were stored separately from the rest of the newspaper, then the process of drying these pages out to preserve the article becomes much easier because they are no longer buried in the middle of a large, soggy mass of paper.

Another way that you can preserve your favorite newspaper articles is to create a digital backup of the article using a photocopier. By scanning in the image to your computer, you can have a long-lasting copy of the image that you can re-print or share with your family via email at any time. It may also be worthwhile to copy the image file to a portable memory device, such as an SD card or thumb drive. That way, even if your computer is damaged or corrupted, you will have an extra copy of the image file to re-upload to a new computer. Also, many picture-printing services now support printing image files from portable memory devices.

Immortalizing Your Article

Of course, you can also have your favorite news articles printed onto a protective plaque, one that keeps out moisture.

Such plaques prevent not only moisture damage, but the yellowing, cracking, and tearing associated with leaving a newspaper article out in the open so that you can share your favorite stories with others.

With the ability to choose from a variety of plaque materials, from traditional wood finishes to sleek and modern crystalline acrylic plaques and sleek metal finishes, you can have the perfect frame to compliment your featured article and your décor. These plaques are designed to last for decades, keeping the stories within safe from the elements and the occasional accident.

A plaque is the ideal way to both preserve your featured news article and share that story with everyone. Don’t be forced to choose between saving the paper the article was printed on and allowing yourself to share your experiences with others, get the best of both worlds with a plaque that saves your story while showing it off to the world.

If you would like more helpful advice about how to preserve your featured newspaper article, or would like to get a plaque of your favorite publication, contact That’s Great News today.