How to Save Furniture After a Flood
Flash floods come with little warning and can devastate your home and damage, if not destroy your belongings. If you’re lucky and have time to protect your possessions from the impending water, you can minimize the damage. However, in most cases, you’re left with little time to do anything outside of getting you and your family to safety all-the-while dreading what you may find when you come home.
Storms come and go but your families furniture “could” last forever so determining what, if anything, is salvageable after a flood is a daunting task. If your furniture is not insured, or you want to hold on to an old family heirloom, below are a few tips to help you save your precious belongings.
In most cases, upholstered furniture is a total loss if saturated with water, but there are specific instances when it’s salvageable.
If moderate flooding occurs and furniture is not sitting in water for an extended period:
- Remove the fabric and all colored materials to prevent bleeding
- Lay flat to dry to avoid mold or mildew from growing
- Clean the furniture from the inside out, wiping down the springs, frame, and webbing
It’s important to keep in mind that upholstered furniture absorbs contaminants from flood waters so if it’s not insured and the estimate for a repair costs more than what it’s worth, it’s probably time to toss it. However, valuable family heirlooms and antique furniture are worth saving if possible.
Chances of your solid wood furniture surviving a flood are far higher than your favorite comfortable couch, especially if it hasn’t been sitting in water for days on end. However, the wood does encourage the growth of fungus and mold so drying it out asap is essential. If you have synthetic wood furniture, you may as well toss it because it’s a total loss.
To clean solid wood:
- Rinse off with a hose in a shady place as the sun will make the wood warp
- Wipe away excess water and let dry completely (this can sometimes take months)
- After it’s dry, treat white mildew spots with turpentine or a mixture of ammonia and water
- Re-glue damaged veneer
- Wood restorer products containing lanolin with help restore the finish
For heavily damaged wood you may need to disassemble the parts, including the back panels, drawers, and doors to expedite the drying process. If the pieces stick together, don’t force them out, as the wood is shrinking back to its original form. It’s best to give it a little time to dry out naturally before removing the pieces.
If you decide to salvage your furniture after a flood, it is a good idea to have a professional cleaning company such as Steam Pro Inc in Denver, Colorado come out and visit you. We use a 4 step cleaning process on your upholstery and guarantee to leave your furniture spotless!