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Document Recovery & Restoration

In the aftermath of a fire or flood, some of the most treasured and irreplaceable contents include important documents, books and photos. Will they ever be the same? Thanks to years of paper recovery experience and development of proprietary document restoration processes, BELFOR’s National Technical Services Division can help you save those sensitive and sentimental documents.

Types of Documents and Vital Records We Restore

As the world’s leader in property restoration and disaster recovery, our specialists are also trained and experienced in document recovery and document restoration. Thanks to advances in technology and equipment, we can restore almost any type of document including (but not limited to):

  • Books, Magazines, Manuscripts, Files
  • Archives, Library Materials, Special Collections
  • Audio Tapes, Video Tapes
  • Compact Discs, Laser Discs, Magnetic Media, Diskettes, Microfiche, Microfilm
  • Blueprints, Drawings, Maps, Plans
  • Data Files, Vital Records
  • Film, Negatives, Photographs, Slides
  • Vellum
  • Parchment
  • Whiteprints
  • X-rays

Types of Document Recovery Treatments

If important documents are exposed to water, BELFOR’s document restoration specialists use dessicant drying, vacuum-freeze dryers, thermal vacuum-freeze dryers and molecular sieves specifically designed to restore books, documents and paper materials. Often, after drying is completed, no further restoration is required. 

If there was a fire or if there is leftover damage from smoke, BELFOR’s paper recovery process would include state-of-the-art cleaning processes such as particulate removal sponges, ionized air washing and a variety of deodorization techniques.

If vital documents are infected with mould, mildew or bacteria, the document restoration process can include sterilizing the items using gamma radiation or electron beam radiation. Individual pieces of paper or an entire library can be saved from further contamination and decay.

BELFOR is one of the few restoration companies that can perform asbestos and lead removal on documents.

BELFOR document restoration lab

Other document recovery services offered by BELFOR include:

  • Straightening, Realignment, Trimming, Reprocessing – To remove or repair portions of permanent damage.
  • Re-matting and Framing
  • Rebinding and Leather Repairs
  • Re-Jacketing – Vital contents removed from damaged folders or jackets and replaced with new ones.
  • Document Copying & Imaging – To replace damaged records.
  • De-acidification

Document Laboratories and Mobile Equipment

BELFOR has the largest inventory of both fixed and mobile freeze-dry chambers in the industry. While we have the equipment to freeze most documents on-site, the majority of document projects are frozen, inventoried, packed and shipped to a BELFOR Document Lab for further recovery.  We have proven procedures and methodologies for quickly and safely packing valuable materials, ensuring that an accurate and meaningful inventory is created, and that materials are moved to a safe location without further damage.

BELFOR Document Laboratories are located strategically around the world.  In North America, we operate document labs in Fort Worth, TX; Exton, PA; Hayward, CA; Surrey, British Columbia; and, Toronto, Ontario.

BELFOR mobile document freeze dry chamber

With the largest trained document recovery staff in the industry, almost all restoration functions are performed in-house using proprietary BELFOR protocols.  Our document technicians receive special training, including HIPAA awareness training.

All BELFOR document facilities have security measures in place - including secured access and video monitoring. The buildings are fenced and a passcode is required for entry into the facility. Because we perform a large amount of government work, special security measures can be added if required.