water damaged furniture

Among the first casualties of home water damage is furniture. It’s often constructed of absorbent materials and positioned at floor level where standing water accumulates. Furniture’s also vulnerable to high levels of indoor humidity common in the aftermath of water inundation.

There’s no all-purpose answer as to whether furniture affected by water damage is salvageable or not.

In all cases, however, timely action to remove the furniture from the wet indoor environment and make a thorough evaluation is paramount. Other critical factors include:

Origin of the water. If water damage comes from a clean source like a ruptured supply pipe, saving affected furniture is more likely, assuming efforts begin rapidly. Water damage from contaminated sources like outdoor flooding or a sewage backup makes salvage unlikely if furniture has been in direct contact with water.

Duration of exposure. The length of time furniture stays wet matters. However, no single time frame applies to all types. Composite wood-like particleboard commonly used in less expensive furniture degrades rapidly after water damage and frequently cannot be saved. Hardwood furniture, conversely, absorbs water much slower and can often be salvaged, though sanding and refinishing may be required to eliminate water stains. Vinyl plastic furniture is generally water-resistant and only requires Round Rock TX flood cleaning with disinfectant and air-drying.

Is it worth it? Padded upholstered furniture may potentially be saved if the source of water is clean and does not permanently stain the material. However, making the decision largely depends on the value of the piece.

  • Upholstery will have to be stripped off the frame and cushions, then steam-cleaned with a disinfectant mixture.
  • The frame must be cleaned, disinfected, and dried. If the structure is composite wood, a wet frame usually deteriorates, glued joints disintegrate, etc.
  • Padding and cushions that have absorbed water will inevitably mildew and must be discarded and replaced.

Because salvaging fabric or upholstered furniture after water damage may not be worth the expense in many cases (valuable antiques and heirlooms may be exceptions) it’s a good idea to get an estimate from a professional furniture restorer before making a decision.

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