Water damaged furniture is one of the biggest problems that many thousands of Americans across the East Coast. One of the States that is ravaged almost every year is Florida since it is the flattest and the most low-lying State of the country.
While the Eastern Seaboard has a number of states where floods occur, Florida’s suffering has increased significantly over the last 3 decades due to major changes in the ocean currents and climate change in general.
Flood damaged furniture is thus a major headache across several States. Unless you take immediate steps to wrap them in waterproof casings, there is a significant chance that most types of furniture will be damaged beyond repair.
Wooden furniture is most susceptible to water damage. From mildew to mold and general weakening, water damaged furniture can be a nightmare to restore.
You might not have enough time to store the wooden items (and also other furnishings) in safe custody before the floodwater hits your locale.
So, is there no way to prevent water damage to furniture?
The answer is yes; there are several ways. Let’s look at some of the ways.
Preventing water damage to furniture: a guide
Prevention is always better than cure, as we all know.
It is always a good idea to be abreast of the developments and changes in weather. If you hear that a trough of clouds is heading your way and there is fear of extremely heavy rains, it is always a great idea to shift your expensive furniture to safety.
That is, of course, easier said than done. You will require professional movers who can pack and move all kinds of fitments and furniture quickly.
Try getting in touch with well-known agencies which specialize in water damage restoration in Gainesville FL. Their trained personnel will help you with the packing and shifting.
But if it is too late and water enters your home, here are some expert tips to dry, clean, and restore flood damaged furniture.
• Saving upholstered furniture
For obvious reasons, furniture which has upholstery is often the most prone to water damage because they rapidly absorb water and are almost impossible to dry. If it is absolutely soggy, there is no way but to discard it.
Even if some parts of the upholstery are dry, it will be a site for the multiplication of pathogens including dangerous bacteria like E. Coli and Coliform species.
Experts advise that discarding upholstery is the best way to go about it, and it is one of the best ways to get rid of water damaged furniture.
But there is a catch. If the particular piece has some emotional value to you, you can seek out professional furniture restoration experts. They use a range of chemicals (and this is not something you can try at home) to reach the deepest parts of the damaged unit.
Post that, they replace the springs first and then the webbing which forms the base. After this procedure, the experts will invariably go ahead and use fresh upholstery which will look very identical to the original item.
A word of caution: such a service is often very expensive. Do keep that in mind before you contact capable Gainesville water damage restoration experts.
• Saving wooden furniture
Contrary to popular perception, it is actually slightly easier to salvage wooden water damage furniture!
All types of wood are a lot less porous than upholstery. This means that they absorb a lot less water than most other types of fitments.
Time is of the essence here. You need to start working to save wooden furniture as soon as the floodwaters recede. Give such furniture enough space and sunlight so that they dry soon. Some professional agencies also use hand-held high-power vacuum cleaners and drying machines to accelerate this process.
Till the time the waterlogged parts of the furniture are not dried, try not to forcefully open the drawers and doors plus other parts. This will cause damage to the piece.
2 pro tips to restore flood damaged furniture
These tips are applicable to all types of furniture.
1. Clear away all floodwater
You can use a high-pressure water hose pipe to clear the dirty floodwater. Such water is dirty and can cause severe allergies. Post that, you can use cotton balls dipped in wood alcohol to wipe away all the surfaces where the floodwater had been in touch with. You will bring down the chances of mildew growth following this simple hack.
Turpentine oil can also substitute wood alcohol.
2. Nothing beats sunlight for drying
As mentioned earlier, all your efforts to reverse water damage to furniture begin only after they have dried. Remember that there is no substitute for sunlight when it comes to drying them. Place the fittings and fixtures outside in the sun and keep each piece some distance from one other.
Sunlight also kills most of the microbes which are present in wooden or vinyl furniture.
These are some of the ways you can take care of your family heirlooms and other invaluable furniture.
That said, if the professionals suggest that you toss a certain piece is beyond repair and needs to be tossed out, it is best to follow their advice.