What to do with photos damaged in flood

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- If your precious family photographs were damaged in the storm, there are affordable options to get them back to their original condition.

With today's technology, pictures that were once lost forever can now be saved. But you do need to act fast to keep the damage at a minimum.

If your photos are in frames, remove them as quickly as possible to avoid them sticking to the glass. If they are already stuck, do not attempt to remove them because that can cause serious tearing. Instead, bring them into a photo center and a technician can try to remove them or scan them while they are in the frame.

"That will save them forever, and you don't have to worry about it," said Walgreens photo technician Bryan Ortiz.

Once they are scanned, they are sent to a third party company for repairs and enhancements. This process can take two to three weeks.

We found that prices start at $14.99 at Walgreens, and other companies online offer the service with no purchase necessary if you are not happy with the results. At Restorapic.com, prices start at $12, and the results can turn out even better than the original.

Photo restoration at Walgreens
Walgreens can restore photos that have received damage from moisture, humidity, heat, bright light, UV rays, and more. The service starts at $14.99. Once your digital images are complete, you can order prints or gifts in any size you'd like.

Photo restoration at CVS
The service includes color correction, red-eye removal, appearance improvement, crack repair, mold removal, and replacement of missing images areas. Your photos will be ready for pick up in just one week. For $39.99, you get one CD plus one 8x10, two 5x7 or four 4x6 prints.

If you were lucky enough to not experience flooding this time, there are ways to prevent losing your possessions in the future. You can take your photos to a photo center and scan them. Then you will have a CD or DVD with digital files full of your family's memories. Those services are usually under $10.

To save even more, there are websites like Picasa, Flickr, and the iCloud where you can store store photos online. It will provide you with a safe way to save your memories, even if the original ones are forever in tact.
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