What happens to my Furniture during Restoration?
If you’ve recently experienced a fire or flood, you likely ended up with some furniture that you wanted to keep, but that had water, fire, or smoke damage, and needed to be restored by a professional restoration company.
Professional property repair and restoration cleaning services can work what seem like miracles, bringing family heirlooms and expensive furniture back from what appeared to be irreparable damage. In some cases, bringing a piece back to 100% isn’t possible, but very often, the final product can look just as good as it did before the fire or flood. So, what exactly goes into these restoration processes?
The two main types of furniture you’ll be restoring through a property repair service after a flood are upholstered furniture and wooden furniture. Extra steps will need to be taken if your furniture has been exposed to unclean water (grey or black water, as opposed to clear water), but your professional restoration company will know whether an item can be salvaged and can take the extra steps to ensure it is safe to use.
Upholstered furniture will first need to be treated for potential bacteria or pathogens, if it came into contact with grey or black water. It will be treated using very hot water to kill these agents.
Depending on the level of water damage, and the length of time the item was exposed to water, it may need to be stripped down, and have the springs and webbing replaced. The upholstery itself is washed using an Esporta Wash system, which cleans the materials more thoroughly than a normal washing machine, without harming the fabric.
After these processes have been completed, if necessary, the furniture must completely dry. Furniture restoration specialists will use water extraction equipment, as well as air movers and dehumidifiers during this process. Air movers will pass hot air through and around the furniture, expediting the drying process, while the dehumidifiers will remove this moisture from the air.
Wood is very porous and can take several weeks to a few months to fully dry at home without professional drying tools. A professional repair company can speed up this process and ensure your beautiful wooden furniture returns to its former glory.
Wooden furniture will first be cleaned thoroughly, to ensure there are no pathogens remaining on the surface. The finish will be stripped, and the wood may be bleached to ensure it is bacteria-free. Then, as with upholstered furniture, the drying process will take place. It is only after the wood is completely dry that the restoration of the wood’s finish can begin.
Once the wood is completely clean and dry, it will then be refinished.
After a fire, your items may have a variety of damage, including that from the water used to put out the fire. You could be dealing with soot marks, charred surfaces, porous materials with soot trapped inside, terrible odors, and variations of all of these compounded by water damage.
There are many steps to the cleaning process for fire-damaged furniture. Some of these steps are the same for upholstered and wooden furniture, while some differ:
- Severely burned and charred parts of the furniture must be removed
- Soot on the surface of the furniture should be removed with a vacuum
- Moisture needs to be removed, and can be addressed through lyophilization and freeze drying, which utilizes a vacuum to remove water and toxins
- Soot stains on upholstery can be cleaned using ultrasonic cleaning, which forces water and detergent into the material, cleaning all areas the soot has reached
- Hard-to-clean soot on wood will be removed using a combination of dry chemical sponges, grade 0000 stainless steel sponges, and wood cleaners, in whatever way is deemed best by the restorer
- The strong odors from the smoke can be removed using ozone treatments and thermal fogging
A fire or flood can wreak havoc on your belongings, and it’s always great to be able to salvage the things that mean the most to you. As you can imagine, however, this process can end up being costly if you want to salvage every single piece of furniture you own, and the damage is extensive, so it’s always a good idea to call in professionals to get a sense of what is worth saving and what isn’t.
If you’ve experienced a fire or flood, we at Abbotts are here to help with your property restoration 24/7, and we are glad to provide a free consultation. We can help you understand the process and cost of restoration so that you can make the best decisions for your family’s belongings.
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