for furniture after water damage
Most water damage
furniture will eventually need to be handled by a
professional, but there are several things you can do to
minimized the damage from floods, water and or water damage
that occurred as the result of a fire. It can save you
hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars or many hours
of work, if you are doing the work yourself, to do things
properly. The first rule of thumb is to act as quickly as
you can. The longer the furniture stays wet the more likely
and extensive the damage will be.
Wood does not react
well to quick changes in humidity or temperature. Try
to keep the changes to the furniture subtle. Don’t
take a piece that is extremely wet and move it quickly to
hot or very dry environment or it could damage the piece
even more, normal room conditions are fine. If pieces
are covered in mud, do the best you can to remove the excess
mud and wash the piece with an ammonia water solution if
necessary. Be careful of contaminated mud. A
dust mask, or better yet, a respirator is a good idea.
Set the pieces on blocks to keep them off damp floors and
remove as many of the drawers, doors and shelves as
possible. Place the items you have removed on flat
surfaces to minimize warping. If it can be done easily
and without more damage, it is also good to remove the backs
of furniture to increase air circulation around the entire
piece. A putty knife is helpful tool for removing
backs. They can
also be helpful in removing stuck drawers. Don’t force
anything open though! Once the wood dries out somewhat they will
probably come out without excess force. If veneers are
peeling off try to keep them flat, but at the very least
keep any pieces that come off. It can save a lot of trouble
or money when fixing them to have the original pieces of
veneer. When we get pieces in with water damage we leave
them in our climate-controlled shop and let them dry for
about 60 days to insure the wood is stable before any
restoration work is done.
Attempting to restore a
piece on your own may be possible depending on the damage
and your skills with restoration. If pieces are
extremely valuable, either monetarily or sentimentally, it’s
best to seek help from a qualified professional.
is always a good idea when hiring someone for important
As a general rule
it is a good idea to store furniture up on some sort of
block or support so it is not sitting right on a concrete
floor. Whether the floor appears moist or not.
Concrete floors will absorb moisture even from the air and
transfer it to the bottom of furniture. The wood is usually
raw on the bottom where it touches the floor and invites
moisture damage to the piece. A good finisher will finish
on the underside when finishing a piece of furniture, but
that is rarely done on most pieces.
Installing nylon guides (little tack on plastic buttons) to the
bottoms of furniture after finishing helps even more.
Email us if you have any other questions about caring
for water damaged furniture or if you need service.