Can you save your furniture after water damage?
You or someone you know will inevitably experience water damage at home each spring. The spring melt can be just as unkind on a house as the winter cold and houses, and what’s inside them, too often pay the price.
A flooded basement, for example, can not only damage a house’s foundation, carpet and framing, but also the furniture. People spend a lot of money to fix up their basements as places to watch movies, hang out or as ‘man caves.’
Some furniture is covered by warranty or insurance, but not all of these policies cover water damage. So what are you to do with your water damaged leather sofa or those nice chairs that you just bought and can’t return? Are there ways of salvaging these pieces after they’ve been exposed to water so you don’t have to pull out the wallet again to replace them? Luckily there are.
Water damaged furniture can be fixed in many ways. Let’s start with leather furniture. Whether it’s a couch, lounger or recliner, water can do a real number on this luxurious fabric. Mold and mildew can easily form on wet or damp leather. If you find your leather furniture wet or in standing water, the first thing to do is remove it and dry it thoroughly. A hair dryer at low heat works wonders for this.
Once mold takes hold, it will be more difficult to restore the leather. If the leather is already stained, get at it with a wet sponge and saddle soap. The same soap can be used with a light nail brush on mold and mildew. Many products that protect leather by preventing further water damage.
Next let’s cover how to fix water damaged and swollen wood furniture. Water can destroy a wooden coffee table, nightstand or chairs. Wood cleaner, petroleum jelly, toothpaste and salt work for lightly stained wood, but for heavily damaged wood, a more advanced approach is needed.
Over time, the wood absorbs the water causing it to warp and bend. The first step to restore your wet wooden and swollen furniture is to get a mask and gloves as there will be dust in this process you will not want to breathe in. Once you’re protected use sandpaper—220 grit works well—to begin sanding the swollen area until it looks smooth. Now sand the rest of the table so it all looks even with the damaged part. If you can’t get it all even, use bleach and water on the damaged area. Let the wood dry, sand it once more and then apply a furniture oil to the wood.
If water has seeped into the joints of a table or desk, remove the leg, sand away the old glue and apply new glue before refitting the leg into the joint and clamping it together.
Before you delve into restoring your cloth fabric furniture, you should make sure you have enough cleaner and disinfectant as the water may have been contaminated. It is also advisable to pressure treat the couch or chair using very hot water as it goes a long way to kill bacteria. After the piece has been hand dried, set up a couple of fans and a dehumidifier around it to make it completely dry. For the next day or two, all of the moisture should leave the furniture. In extreme cases where it doesn’t, the upholstery needs to be completely stripped off the frame and cleaned that way. If the water is very contaminated and the furniture piece is porous it should not be cleaned and should be replaced instead.
And if D.I.Y. fails, you have a friend
As always, Abbotts wants to ally itself with homeowners to help them enjoy and get the most out of their property and lives. Sometimes accidents cannot be avoided and it’s comforting to know that Abbotts is in your corner when problems arise. If you find yourself overwhelmed after water invades your home and damages your stuff you can view this helpful video: What do you do with your contents after water damage? If you’re still having issues, water damaged furniture repair is fast and easy with Abbotts.