Restoring Water Damaged Furniture
Worried About restoring water damaged furniture? You can never prepare for a flood, whether it’s from a leaky roof, an overflowing river, or even a burst pipe in your home. The mess and damage to your home and belongings can be devastating. In the aftermath of the flood, determining what can be saved can be a disheartening task.
Among the items you may want to rescue is furniture, especially if it has sentimental value or is considerably valuable like antiques. Here, we give you useful tips on salvaging and restoring water-damaged furniture.
What To Do After A Home Flood
After a flood, it is important to act fast and inspect your home and its contents as soon as you can safely do so. For your safety, make sure that you are dressed appropriately. Flooding in your home brings with it the risk of allergens and microorganisms. Make sure you wear protective clothing before entering your home.
Take Photos: Don’t forget to bring along a camera to document the extent of the damage. Proper documentation can facilitate the processing of insurance claims. Take photos of furniture lost to floods or severely damaged to send to your insurance company.
Inspect: Inspect your furniture closely and separate what can be salvaged from those that are beyond saving. Take into consideration these factors - extent of damage, sentimental value, and the cost of restoration. Some furniture may cost more to restore than to just purchase a new one as a replacement. Some pieces may have been extensively damaged but are family heirlooms. You may want to hold on to these for restoration later.
Separate: Set aside furniture pieces that are beyond repair. This is for evaluation purposes when you file an insurance claim. Generally, upholstered furniture that has been soaked through with floodwater, as well as warped wooden furniture, may not be worth the time and money to save. (This will be discussed in more detail below).
Remove Items From Wet Areas: For salvageable furniture, move them to a dry area to speed up drying. Furniture that sat in floodwater has a better chance of drying out if the pieces are removed from where the flooding occurred. These areas may still be moisture ridden even after the water has already subsided.
We recommend moving them to your home’s upper floors, your dry garage, or even outside if the weather permits. However, we do not recommend doing this for wooden furniture which may warp or crack when exposed to the sun.
If the pieces are heavy or difficult to move, put them on aluminum foil or on wooden blocks to keep them off of any damp floor or carpet.
Our Tips on Restoring Damaged Furniture
Upholstered furniture with fabric covers or cushions is often written off as a loss already. This is especially true if they have been soaked in floodwater. This will leave your furniture pieces teeming with molds and pathogens. And these contaminants are very hard to remove.
Experts will advise you to throw away flood-damaged upholstered furniture. However, if these are antiques or have great sentimental value, it’s best to leave it to those who are experts in restoring water-damaged furniture. They have the right training and the proper tools to clean the upholstery properly.
If the flooding in your home has not been too severe and the furniture did not sit too long in the water, you may be able to remedy the situation yourself. It’s important to separate the upholstery fabrics and any colored items to prevent color bleeding. As mold and mildew can grow pretty fast, make sure to dry the furniture thoroughly as soon as possible.
Much like upholstered furniture, mattresses present the same problem. They absorb moisture that encourages the growth of mildew, mold, and bacteria. If your mattress has been badly soaked in floodwater, experts recommend discarding it. It not only poses risk to your health because of mold and bacteria, but it likely has absorbed contaminants from the floodwater.
If the mattress was just exposed for only a short period of time to flood water, and if the water was from a clean source, it may be possible to still save it.
Start by cleaning the surface of the mattress. Allow it to completely dry in the sun. Make sure to keep the wet side up so it can dry quickly and completely. If possible, resting the mattress on blocks to elevate it will help speed up the drying process. You can also use a fan to aid in the drying process.
A musty odor is an indication of mildew. If you suspect mildew, it’s best to have it sanitized by professionals. If it persists even after a professional cleaning, there is no recourse but to discard it for safety.
Solid Wood Furniture
Compared to upholstered furniture, solid wood furniture is more resistant to water damage. You have better chances of restoring them. However, it’s important to remember that they may become warped due to moisture.
To lessen the chances of warping, it’s important to allow them to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area, preferably with the aid of fans. As mentioned earlier, wooden furniture should not be exposed to the sun during the drying process as this may cause warping or cracks.
To start the restoration process, we suggest these following steps:
Remove dirt and mildew from the furniture. You may use a hose to spray off any flood residue.
For slightly damaged furniture, blot or wipe wood dry to remove the excess moisture. Use wood alcohol, turpentine, or a mixture consisting of equal parts ammonia and water to remove any white mildew spots. Wipe dry immediately. You may also glue back any damaged veneers. Experts recommend using cream wood restorers with lanolin to restore the finish of your furniture pieces.
For heavily damaged furniture which has been exposed to flood water for longer periods of time, it takes more care to dry the pieces correctly. Promote faster drying by removing all parts that can be removed. This may include back panels, drawers, and doors. However, if there are parts that are sticking, let the wood dry and shrink a bit before taking them apart.
Hose off any mud and dirt from the furniture and air dry in a well-ventilated place. Avoid direct sun exposure as this will cause the wood to crack or warp. Patience is the key to restoring water-damaged wooden furniture.
Know that wood furniture can take weeks, or even months, to dry out completely. Only when the furniture pieces are completely dry can repair and refinishing be performed.
Please note that the above steps only apply to solid wood furniture. Pieces made from manufactured products such as MDF and plywood do not fare as well and are normally written off as a loss after flood damage.
Five Star Restoration - Flood Restoration Experts
If your home or property has experienced flooding, Five Star Restoration can help. We are a top-rated local water damage restoration company and we can respond to calls 24/7. Our experienced technicians help expedite the drying process of your home, including furniture and other contents within.
We act quickly to mitigate damage using specialized equipment to rid spaces and furniture of moisture.
And we do not stop there. We work with your insurance adjuster so you do not have to worry about your insurance claim. No stress, no worries.
Get peace of mind when you restore your home or business!
Call us at 951-368-2227.
We are open and available to answer your call 24/7.
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