Salvaging Water Damaged Furnishings

The natatorium in the basement

Can upholstered furniture still be saved after getting submerged in flood waters? (Photo Credits)

Flooded upholstered furniture may seem like ‘game-over’ given that it soaks up flood, can be a breeding ground for molds and bacteria, and could even discolor due to the flood water inundation. Water damage experts say though that it could still be salvaged provided that the flooded furniture is taken out of the flood waters immediately, and treated as soon as possible. Check over here

The North Carolina State University came up with guidelines and tips for homeowners who have experienced flooding. In that set of guidelines they mentioned how property owners should deal with upholstered furniture in case they would want to salvage it. In their guide though, they underscored that it may be best to consult an upholsterer if a piece of furniture is worth refurbishing or not.

“If the water reached the upholstery, the fabric may be stained or watermarked. If the chair or sofa was in water for several hours or more, mud and silt may have penetrated the fabric and padding. The padding will hold the water, causing mildew to grow inside and out. Finished wood surfaces will become cloudy. If water penetrates the finish, the wood will mildew. Joints in the frame may loosen. The furniture also may be contaminated with sewage, pesticides, or industrial chemicals that were in the floodwaters. It may be best to discard the upholstered furniture.”

You may download the guidelines here.

Couch, beds, and accent chairs

The Disaster Handbook of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida happens to be a good guide on what to do to flooded upholstered home furnishing. Although they mentioned in their handbook that it can be hard to salvage, they included in the manual what can be done by home owners who may want to try refurbishing their furniture.

“Upholstered furniture that has been submerged in flood water maybe impossible to salvage if it as been badly soaked. If the piece seems worth the effort, however, you will need to clean and oil the springs, replace the stuffing and clean the frame.”

Take a look at the step-by-step instructions here.

Upholstered Furniture and Water Damage

The Spruce also has a guide on refurbishing upholstered furniture – however it mentioned that it may be more cost efficient to buy a new one compared to salvaging a one that may have been fully inundated ion flood waters.

“Unfortunately, by its very nature, it is easy for upholstered furniture to absorb contaminants from flood waters. Again, before investing a lot of money in it for restoration, get a cost estimate to evaluate if it is worth saving. In most cases, flood-soaked upholstered furniture should be thrown away unless it is an antique or very valuable. If you do decide to keep your upholstered furniture, it is best to have it cleaned only by a professional—a process that can be fairly expensive, since the cleaning may involve stripping the furniture piece down to its frame.”

Take a look at the rest of the article here.

Upholstered furniture may be difficult to save, but it is possible. Professional cleaning and restoration though may be needed.