As experienced upholsterers, customers often ask us if it is possible to restore furniture that has been damaged in a flood. The answer is: yes, it can be restored! But it’s important to assess the damage and have a professional opinion on what type of repairs are needed first.
At Alex Upholstery Shop, we have experience with flooding restoration projects in Lebanon County Pennsylvania. We understand the unique needs of this type of repair job, including using specialized cleaners and sanitizing products on fabrics and leather materials that have been affected by water. We can help you assess the damage, determine the best route for restoring your furniture, and provide an estimate for cost and timeline.
In this blog post, we will discuss:
- How to identify furniture damaged by a flood.
- Explain how flood damaged furniture is restored.
- Detail some specialty products used in this process.
- Show some before-and-after photos of our flood restoration projects.
What Causes Furniture Damage
Furniture damage can occur for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be floods that cause it. Things like direct sunlight and high humidity can cause problems in the long run. In addition, poor construction and materials can also contribute to furniture damage.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the main causes of furniture damage:
- Direct sunlight
- High humidity
- Poor construction
- Poor materials
Floods can cause irreparable damage to furniture unless some restorative steps are considered and executed in a timely manner. Furniture that has been exposed to floodwaters may show visible signs of damage such as swelling, warping, mold, mildew and discoloration. But sometimes the signs of water damage can be difficult to detect.
The first step is to determine the severity of the water damage by inspecting the flooded items carefully. Furniture exposed to contaminated blackwater or greywater (e.g., caused by sewage backflow) must be disposed of properly for health and safety reasons regardless of whether structural or unsalvageable furniture appears clean and dry on the outside.
Once you have determined that your furniture can be saved, it’s important to act quickly. You will need to dry out all wood components as soon as possible and monitor for water saturation levels at least every 12-24 hours; otherwise your furniture will become permanently warped and unusable. If the flood was caused by clean water, these upholstery materials are generally salvaged: foam cushions, cotton batting fibers inside cushions, leather hides, fabric upholstery shots webbing tapes and trim materials (such as buttons).
If necessary you may need professional help from a restoration company that specializes is treating mold/mildew-exposed furniture with specialized products such as anti-mold sprays/wipes or anti-stain treatments. Using advanced drying equipment such as dehumidifiers will help speed up the process along with air movement throughout affected rooms; however you will still need to factor in time for thorough air circulation along with routine tests for moisture content daily or weekly until levels have returned back to normal.
Furniture can be damaged by fire due to exposure to direct flame or heat. The intensity of a fire may be such that the outer surfaces of the furniture including the fabrics, foam and other materials may be burned away. The resulting damage from fire can vary from slight discoloration and smell issues to serious charring or melting of components.
The effects of a house fire on furniture can vary depending on its proximity to the source of heat and flame. Melting, burning and discoloration are common impacts caused by intense levels of heat. In cases where a piece was close enough to the source of the flames, they may have been consumed by it entirely, leaving nothing but ash behind. The degree of damage caused by smoke inhalation is also dependent on how close it was situated to the centre point where heat generated was intense.
If your valuable furnishings have been exposed to fire and sustained damage, it’s important that you get professional help as soon as possible in order to determine what restoration is possible if any. Alex Upholstery Shop works hard at providing quality repairs for furniture that has suffered from fire damage no matter how severe it might seem at first glance. Our technicians use advanced techniques for reviving upholstery fabrics which have been blemished due to extreme temperatures in an effort to restore them back closer toward their originals look, smell and feel. Contact us today if your furniture has been impacted by a house fire and we’ll work with you in attempting to bring it back life again!
Mold is well known to cause problems in a home. It can damage furniture and other items, and cause health problems. High humidity or flooding can contribute to mold growth in a home. Furniture can be particularly vulnerable if it is made of porous material or contains fabric cushioning with moisture-holding fibers like cotton or wool. These materials offer an ideal environment for the growth of mold because are naturally absorbent and nonporous materials like metal are not susceptible.
In situations where furniture has been exposed to high humidity, flooding, or has been otherwise dampened, it is important to take precautions to prevent the growth of mold. Initially, you should avoid using fans that blow air outwards as this will spread mold spores throughout your home. Instead, use fans that move air from the inside outwards as these will pull moisture away from the furniture and prevent further damage from occurring.
It is also important that any rugs, carpets or fabrics are thoroughly dried within 24 hours of being wet – dampness encourages the spread of mold and could result in further damage to your furniture pieces. Any rusty metal frames should be treated with rust remover products as quickly as possible in order to avoid permanent staining or discoloration due to corrosion.
Finally, if you believe that any items have become unsalvageable due to significant moisture damage or excessive rot caused by molding fungus, seek professional advice on how you should dispose them safely and effectively without causing risk of contamination elsewhere in your home environment.
Types of Furniture Damage
Furniture can be affected by a wide range of elements, from flooding to everyday wear and tear. Damage sustained to furniture from flooding can range from physical to structural, with each requiring a unique treatment and approach.
In this blog, we will explore different types of furniture damage and provide some tips on how to restore them. So let’s get started:
Water damage is one of the most common types of furniture damage. When exposed to water for an extended period, wood and fabrics may swell, warp, and discolor. While many water-damaged pieces can be restored with cleaning, minor repairs, and refinishing, heavily damaged pieces may require replacement.
When assessing a piece for water damage, it’s important to look for signs of discoloration or staining on the wood or fabric surface. Additionally, inspect the furniture for signs of swelling or bulging due to moisture retention. If the piece is made from particle board or veneer construction, a close examination should take place as these materials are prone to warping and separation in severe cases of water exposure.
In order to restore a piece that has been affected by water damage, it’s important first to repair any swollen or warped areas with appropriate fillers. Depending on the type of finishes used on the piece – such as stains, glazes, lacquers and varnishes – sanding may be needed along with patching in order to achieve uniformity when applying new finishes. The use of appropriate cleaners depending on the type of substrate (wood/fabric) will be critical in deciding how effective restoration will be in returning it back its preexisting state prior to flooding.
Furniture affected by fire damage is identified by its discoloration, charring, and burning of the material. The heat from the flames will cause a lot of smoke damage leading to a bad odor that embeds into furniture fabrics. Fire can also damage a piece of furniture structurally, weakening joints and damaging veneered surfaces.
Most fire-damaged furniture can be restored if:
- The surface material of the furniture is not charred or melted too much beyond repair.
- There is no water damage which would contribute to further deterioration that could not be reversed from the restoration process.
- The joints are intact enough to hold together during structural repairs or upholstery work.
- The smoke odor was successfully removed from all fabrics and surfaces with the appropriate deodorizing chemicals.
When assessing whether a damaged piece can be saved, an experienced technician should inspect it for potential repairable factors and identify any obscured structural issues or irreparable materials for parts replacements that could compromise the stability or aesthetics of your beloved furniture.
Mold damage is one of the most common types of furniture damage caused by flooding. Mold spreads quickly and can grow on any fabric, including carpeting, upholstery and mattresses. Visible mold spores are usually green, black or white with a distinct musty odor. The longer mold remains in an area, the more serious the damage becomes.
The most important thing to do when dealing with moldy furniture is to decrease the level of moisture in your home as quickly as possible. This could involve using fans and dehumidifiers if the environment is excessively wet, or replacing carpets and flooring that have become completely saturated.
Furniture that has been exposed to floodwaters may also display signs of corrosion, rust or other discoloration due to contact with water-damaged metal parts or components. To prevent further deterioration and possible health risks from airborne contaminants, such items should be cleaned thoroughly beforehand.
In general, pieces of furniture that have sustained minor mold damage – such as only white spots on removable surfaces like pillows – may be salvaged by cleaning with lukewarm soapy water followed by a vinegar solution before drying in sunlight or using a fan. However, certain items like mattresses must always be professionally cleaned in order to be safe for reuse. It is also advisable to seek professional advice on restorative work if you are unsure how else to proceed.
Assessing the Damage
Flood damage to furniture can range in severity, and it is important to assess the amount of damage before attempting to restore it. Depending on the severity of the damage, the restoration process can be more or less complicated.
This blog post will cover the assessment process of determining the damage to your flooded furniture:
Checking for Structural Damage
When assessing the damage done to furniture pieces, you first need to check for structural damage. This includes looking for broken legs or frames and getting rid of any jagged ends from sticking out corners. Any breaks in the wood or exposed metal framework must be mended either with glues and nails or through reassessing the broken pieces back together. It’s important to take care of this step before focusing on more cosmetic treatments as it will create a more stable base to build upon when fixing other broken parts. In addition, it is important to sand down any rough areas as they can snag clothing and reduce comfort while sitting on it.
After structural damage is addressed, inspect all upholstered portions of the piece. Emphasis should be placed around rips, tears, soiling, areas of mold/mildew growth and water staining which could have occurred during flooding conditions. It’s important to take into account if any filling material has settled over time causing sagging cushions as this can lead to an uncomfortable sitting position. Repairs should also be taken into consideration due to necessary cleaning operations that may need executing in order for a thorough overhaul for better looks in addition to repair work related objectives.
Once all these steps are completed it is essential that protective covers be added over foam material stuffing or padding whether brand new ones or recovered ones from existing designs in order maintain excellent condition of your beloved furniture pieces for many years onward since you made sure no corner had been overlooked but efficiently researched and addressed!
Checking for Cosmetic Damage
Before beginning the restoration process, you must assess the damage done to your furniture. This includes checking for cosmetic damage, structural damage, and any odors that may be present due to water exposure.
- Check for any warping in the wood frame and determine if it is repairable or if it needs to be replaced altogether.
- Any tears or damages in the upholstery should also be noted as these will need repair or replacement.
- Make sure you check within any padding and crevices of your furniture as moisture can seep into places you might not notice at first glance.
If the fabric on your furniture was exposed to water, look out for discoloration or fading, mold growth, and a potential increase in static electricity due to increased porosity of your upholstery’s material. The odors are particularly hard to assess until you wait for furniture to dry out completely; however, damp fabric tends to bring about a musty smell which could indicate a potential mold problem down the line.
It is important that you examine all aspects of the furniture carefully before starting on any restoration process as this will help you determine what is needed for a successful completion of flooding mitigation.
Whether you’ve been hit by a flood or not, restoring furniture can be a daunting task. At Alex Upholstery Shop, we have the experience and skill to help bring your furniture back to life. We have a variety of methods to restore flood damaged furniture and other pieces that have been damaged due to wear and tear.
In this blog, we will discuss the different restoration techniques used to restore furniture:
Cleaning is essential for successfully restoring furniture damaged by the flood. To clean upholstered furniture, remove fabric dust, dirt and debris with a vacuum cleaner. Use an upholstery brush attachment to gently remove dirt particles that have become embedded deeper in the fabric.
For wooden pieces you will want to use a soft bristle brush and hardwood cleaner to gently remove dirt, residue and water stains from the surface as best you can. Some furniture may require special care such as steam cleaning or specialty cleaners. Be sure to test any cleaning solution on a hidden area of the piece of furniture before beginning any treatment.
Sanding is one of the most important steps of the furniture restoration process. The idea behind sanding is to remove the old and damaged finish, while also making sure that all bumps, dings and blemishes are removed. It’s highly recommended to use a power sander, since it will create a smooth and even surface that can be further refined if needed.
Begin sanding with a coarse grit paper, such as 80 grit, then switch to an even finer grade such as 120 or even 180 grit for an incredibly smooth surface. As you’re sanding, make sure not to press too hard into the wood – this could create dents and depressions in the wood. Continue until you get a uniform grain and finish across the piece of furniture. Use caution when near corners or crevices – take them slow and steady to ensure no damage happens here.
When finished with sanding, clean up any remaining dust or dirt particles before continuing on to other aspects of restoring your furniture.
Staining is an important and popular finishing touch for furniture. Staining, or coloring the wood, helps to restore the piece to its desired condition, as well as provide attractive colors that complement other pieces in the room and existing interior design.
When it comes to staining a furniture piece that has been damaged by flooding or water, homeowners should first be aware of any permanent drying damage done to the wood before embarking on their project.
When deciding on a stain color choice for flooded furniture, bear in mind what type of sealant you plan on using – oil-based and semi-transparent stains work better with clear sealants like PU lacquer, while solvent-based stains are better for urethanes. Depending on your goal for refinishing—whether it be restoring an antique table with its original look or giving a new paint job—some sort of chemical conditioning may be necessary prior to staining. This step helps to prepare flooded woods so they can receive proper stain absorption and even out color variations from water damage.
Chemically conditioning your table (if necessary) will require applying an appropriate cleaning chemical such as trisodium phosphate (TSP) followed by 120 grit sandpaper nail sanding to remove all wood surface stains that were sustained while under water. A chemical conditioner should also be applied prior to actual staining in order to ensure good stain absorption into wet woods.
Once these steps have been completed stain can then be applied following manufacturer’s directions. No matter which product you decide upon, it is recommended that multiple layers of topcoat are applied including three coats of Polyurethane varnish over two layers of stain sealer once finished with the hardwood floor paint in order to add long lasting protection against further water damage.
Sealing is the first step to any furniture restoration job. It prevents re-absorption of new stains and reduces the rate of wear-and-tear. It involves using a sealant such as oil, water sealant, or lacquer to protect the newly applied finish and keep dirt out of the pores in wooden furniture. This can also prevent water-soluble tannins from leaching out of old finishes over time.
Sealing is important when restoring flood damaged furniture in order to maintain it’s original finish, which helps avoid further damage over time. Additionally, sealing ensures that any newly applied finishes last longer, protecting against chipping or cracking due to moisture or age.
When preparing for a sealant project, select the appropriate type for your job and make sure you have everything you’ll need including sandpaper, detergents, rags, sanding blocks (for power or manual sanders), wood filler and/or hardwood plugs if needed for larger projects. Sealants are sold in spray cans and come ready to use with some requiring a few coats; however brush-on polyurethane sealants are often more durable when used in furniture restoration jobs due to their potentially better adhesion when compared that with aerosol products. If using a brush-on polyurethane sealant opt for an oil based one as this will give your furniture a much richer look than latex based products tend to do.
To apply your chosen sealant make sure the surface you intend on working on has been properly prepared; this includes thoroughly cleaning it and removing any loose materials from it before sealing – regardless of any existing finishes previously being used – see steps below:
- Clean wood with mild detergent solution and scrub brush
- Sand down smooth with medium & fine sandpaper/sanding blocks
- Fill holes & cracks as needed (ease off transitions)
- Wipe away all debris created during prep process using tack cloth
- Apply sealant according to instructions given on product label
In conclusion, flood-damaged furniture can be restored, but it is important to make sure that proper safety precautions and cleaning protocols are followed. It is also important to note that restoring flood-damaged furniture can be a delicate and difficult process which requires the skill of an experienced professional. It is highly recommended to contact an expert if you need assistance in restoring any type of furniture that has suffered from flood damage.
Upholstery specialists at Alex Upholstery Shop in Lebanon County Pennsylvania have the experience and expertise necessary to help you restore your most cherished items. Contact us today and let us help bring your furniture back to life!