Water Damaged Phones

If your water damaged phone is too far gone for any DIY remedies or local experts to help, you can still turn to the experts at Gillware.

If there’s any fate that can more easily befall your smartphone, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with it. Water damage is a particular bugbear for smartphone users. We take our phones everywhere, and everywhere includes some very wet places.

  • Maybe you fumbled with your phone and dropped it in the sink (or the toilet bowl–don’t worry, we don’t judge).
  • Maybe your phone got wet because you slipped and fell into a swimming pool or lake–or someone pushed you.

Whatever it is, sometimes water damaged phones can be too badly damaged to deal with on your own. Sometimes, even your local phone repair shop won’t be able to resuscitate your phone. When that happens, Gillware’s phone data recovery experts are here for you.

We’ll get your data high and dry.

Can Water Damaged Phones be Repaired?

Water and electronics, as you know, generally don’t mix. If a single droplet of water lands on a circuit board, the electrical current running through the copper traces, enticed by the water’s high conductivity, will jump right from the copper into the water, disrupting the flow of electricity and causing an electrical short.

And that’s not the only way water wreaks havoc with electrical devices: water and metal tend to react very strongly and given enough time and prolonged exposure will wear away at the metals that make up your phone’s insides: iron rusts, copper oxidizes. None of these things are good for your phone.

However, water damaged phones can be repaired. Even if the logic board inside your phone becomes heavily corroded by prolonged water exposure, a skilled engineer can carefully clean away the corrosion and get your phone back into a working or semi-functional state. Or, at the very least, a barely-functional-enough-to-pull-data-off-of-it state.

With the ubiquity of smartphones, we all stopped memorizing people’s phone numbers. If your phone stopped working, would you remember your mother’s phone number? What about your spouse or children? Fortunately, if you need your contacts recovered from a water damaged phone, Gillware’s technicians can help.

Does burying your phone in rice work?

Water damaged phones and dry, uncooked rice are a popular combination. Take a look on Google to learn how to fix a water damaged phone and just about everybody will tell you to stick your phone in a bag of rice or submerge it in a bowl of rice and leave it there overnight. The idea is that the rice is absorbent and will suck the moisture from your phone as it sits there. Once your phone has dried out, you’re free to use it again.

Mobile phone disassembly for forensic data recovery purposes
Mobile phone disassembly for forensic data recovery purposes

Remember the little bag of silica gel that comes in bags of beef jerky and has “DO NOT EAT” printed on it? It’s a desiccant meant to keep your beef jerky nice and dry like it’s supposed to be. The idea behind using rice to fix a water damaged phone is that dry, uncooked rice functions as a cheap, edible, easily-accessible desiccant. However, despite the ubiquitous common-sense wisdom surrounding rice and water damaged phones, rice just isn’t that effective of a desiccant. In fact, air-drying your phone works just about as well.

How well your phone dries out on its own depends on its design. Certain phones are more water-resistant than others, just due to their shapes–inside and out. If a phone has more nooks and crannies on the inside where water can linger longer, it will be harder to dry out. Even if your phone does dry out and starts working again, there’s a chance some small amounts of moisture could remain inside your phone and wreak havoc as it corrodes portions of your phone’s logic board. As a result, your phone might die after seemingly working fine days or weeks after its bath.

How to Fix a Water Damaged Phone

Generally speaking, minor water damage tends to be one of the easiest things for phones to recover from on their own, mainly because in most circumstances, all they have to do is dry out–although they may fail days or weeks later due to slow corrosion.

If the water damage your phone has suffered is severe enough, though, even a local phone repair shop might not have the tools necessary to salvage anything from your phone. This is especially true when you’ve lost your phone to floodwaters, which in addition to waterlogging your phone, can also fill it with mud and other contaminants.

Using controlled heat application to safely remove the memory chip from a smart device's logic board
A controlled application of heat using equipment like this one can be used to remove the internal memory chip for Samsung data recovery

Gillware’s data recovery technicians step in when no one else can help. When your phone is so damaged that not even the local cell phone repair shop can help and you need your contacts lists, text messages, photos, videos, or any other data from your phone’s internal memory recovered, the engineers in our data recovery lab get to work.

Recovering data from a severely-water damaged phone is not easy. It in involves painstakingly cleaning the device to remove as much corrosion as possible from its internals. That is why you’ll need our engineers to take care of it for you.

If the internal storage, typically an eMMC flash memory chip, needs to be removed, our engineers carefully remove it and read the data from it in a specialized chip reader. Otherwise, once your phone has been cleaned, our engineers can usually piece it back together and recover the data from it using our powerful data recovery software.

Why Choose Gillware Data Recovery?

Gillware’s in-lab data recovery services are affordably priced, technologically innovative and completely secure.

Gillware’s Phone Recovery Specialists are Experts

The data recovery technicians at Gillware successfully solve thousands of cases per year, working with phones and smart devices of every make and model and salvaging data from even the severest circumstances using advanced forensic data recovery tools and techniques.

Gillware offers free inbound shipping to our secure data recovery lab in Madison, Wisconsin.

Leave your worries out to dry, not your phone