If you’ve recently experienced water damage in your home, you know the damage it can cause to your furniture. It can cause warping, discoloration, and even mold growth to water-damaged furniture, making you think of throwing out your damaged pieces and starting from scratch.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), water damage affects around 14,000 people in the United States every single day. However, replacing all your water-damaged furniture at once can be a significant financial burden. The good news is you can restore your furniture after water damage and minimize the damage in many cases.
While it may not be possible to make the furniture look as good as new, repairing and restoring it can save you money and help you hold on to cherished keepsakes with sentimental value.
In this blog, we’ll know details about the causes of water damage, how exactly water damages furniture, and we’ll provide tips and step-by-step instructions for fixing water-damaged furniture, helping you to gain the financial upper hand in this hectic scenario.
What Causes Water-Damaged Furniture?
Before diving into the restoration process, we should know about the reasons you might face water-damaged furniture. The primary reason why your furniture gets water-damaged is the moisture it absorbs. The moisture can come from many sources-
- Roof Leaks
- Leaking Pipes
- Water overflow
- Faulty Appliances
- Heavy Rainfall
- Natural Disaster (Flooding, Hurricanes, etc.)
Check out this blog if you want more details about water damage effects on the house.
Types of Water-Damaged Furniture
- Wooden Furniture
- Veneer Furniture
- Upholster Furniture
- Leather Furniture
Wooden Water-Damaged Furniture
According to a study by North Carolina State University, 82.5% of individuals use wood as the primary furniture source. So, we will mainly focus on fixing issues in wooden water-damaged furniture.
Wooden furniture is affected by water damage in a few different ways. The most common problem is that the wood swells and warps. Swollen wood furniture is more than just unsightly; in many instances, it can make it difficult to use or even cause it to break.
There are also other issues water-damaged wooden furniture could face, like white spots, black spots, crumpled veneer, etc. The furniture can eventually fall apart if the water damage is left untreated. Now we will go through how you can fix each issue-
Dry Out the Wood
The first thing you must do when dealing with wooden water-damaged furniture is to let it dry as soon as possible. Wood is hydrophobic, so it very easily absorbs water; therefore, you should keep a keen eye on your wooden furniture when any sort of water damage happens.
Put the furniture somewhere it can directly come in contact with the sun. You can even speed up the process by using fans and dryers. But make sure to check the weather conditions first because unexpected rain can cause harm even more.
Use More Fixings
After your furniture is well-dried, repair it by adding extra fixtures to strengthen the structure. You should look for areas where parts are loosened up and moved back and forth. Many extra fixing options, like screws, bolts, nails, expanded metal lathes and galvanized strips, wall plugs, pipe brackets, cable clips, frame fixings, and many more, are available. Adding fixtures will make the structure stronger and will keep things in the right place that has moved because of moisture.
Fill in the Gaps
If your water-damaged furniture has expanded on a large scale after being exposed to water. After drying out, you will notice the wood may start to slip and crack once it begins to shrink to its regular size, especially where the joints are. To prevent these cracks from splitting apart, you will have to use wood filler in the affected areas.
As the name states, wood filler fills the bits between the cracks, making the surface smooth again. You have to notice what filler you are using because different fillers are used for different types of wood.
If you use the wrong filler, cracks won’t be filled, and the filler will stick out. But if you see the cracks are way too large to fill, you can try using wood glue or a clamp when pushing both sides strongly. You can also force the edges f the crack together and make the crack smaller, then apply the wood filler.
If you see white spots in your water-damaged wooden furniture, then you know it came in contact with contaminated water. This may seem very severe but don’t worry; they can be treated easily!
Mix a spoonful of baking soda and a cleaning solution with equal toothpaste. Dip a damp cloth in the cleaning solution and scrub it over the spots. Once the furniture becomes free of spots, polish the affected area with a dry cloth to regain the shine.
Moldy Black Spots
While cleaning white spots, you may come across black spots, which are basically mold. White spots are formed due to the absorption of water, but the same spots turn black, indicating that water has penetrated deep inside, damaging the finish of the wood. If you witness any black spots in your water-damaged furniture, it means there’s mold growing on your furniture.
In order to remove the moldy spots from the furniture, first, you need to remove the upper finish of the wood. Then, clean the mold with a peroxide cleaning solution and coat the area with a new finish.
Veneer Water-Damaged Furniture
A style of wooden furniture known as a veneer is made of pieces of real wood that have been bonded together to create a completed surface over artificial wood. However, furniture made of veneer can still sustain water damage, particularly on the surface and in the gaps between attached joints.
Fixing Veneer Furniture
You may try using liquid furniture polish to remove dull white spots on veneer furniture that must be repaired due to water damage. Get a cloth with denatured alcohol on it, and massage it on the white rings if the stains are too severe. Denatured alcohol should be used in moderation since it might damage wood finishes.
Additionally, you may try treating the area with oil mixed with rottenstone or cigarette ashes. Wipe the area with a cloth after cleaning it with care. When the stain has disappeared, wax the area or the entire surface twice and polish it. However, you might need to remove the veneer, re-glue it, and clamp it down until it dries.
Upholstered Water-Damaged Furniture
Upholstery refers to the materials, including the padding, webbing, coil springs, polyurethane foam and fabric that make up the soft coverings of furniture. Upholstered water-damaged furniture is more likely to become affected than wooden furniture because it absorbs more moisture. The fabric on upholstered furniture can become moldy and mildewed if exposed to water for too long. The foam inside the cushions can also become wet and smell bad.
If your home is not flooded heavily, then there are chances that the furniture did not remain in contact with water for a long time. In this case, it is easy to restore your furniture after water damage because it may not be affected severely.
First of all, start the restoration process by pulling up all the upholstery fabric, specially colored items, to avoid any probable color bleeding. The upholstery fabric must be dried completely because any humidity left in the fabric will provide a breeding ground for the mold to grow.
As upholstery tends to absorb contaminants from water easily, you must determine whether your upholstered furniture is worth splurging on the restoration cost or not. Normally upholstery furniture ends up being disposed of, especially when they are heavily soaked in flood water unless it is very valuable.
Upholstered furniture tends to be more difficult to repair than wood furniture, so if you still decide to hold onto your upholstered furniture, it’s better to have it restored by a professional water remediation company in Florida.
Leather Water-Damaged Furniture
Repair Leather is a natural product, and as such, it is very water-sensitive. Even the slightest bit of moisture can cause the leather to swell and change shape.
The problem exists because leathers naturally bind to water molecules. As the water evaporates, natural oils also evaporate, making it stiff. Sometimes, the bacteria or other contaminants in the water are responsible for the leather damage. For example, mold growth is a common issue when dealing with wet leather.
If you have ever seen leather apparel, leather shoes, or other leather furniture damaged by water, you know how unsightly they can be. The good news is that most water-damaged leather can be repaired with the proper treatment and conditioner.
If you have a water-damaged leather couch or sofa, you first need to assess the damage. If the leather is cracked or flaking, repairing it will be more difficult. If the damage is limited to discoloration or water spots, you may be able to salvage the piece of furniture. Here are key tips:
Remove any excess water from the surface of the leather. This can be done with a soft fabric or a vacuum cleaner.
Dry the leather thoroughly. This can be done using a hairdryer on the low setting or by placing the leather in a sunny spot.
Once the leather is dry, repair any cracks or damage caused by the water. For small cracks, you can use a leather repair kit. These kits contain everything you need to make small repairs to your furniture. You may need to take your furniture to a professional for repair for bigger cracks or damage.
Check out this comprehensive blog by Carl Freidrik to know what to do when leather gets damaged by water.
Water damage is one of the most common causes of furniture damage, leading to discoloration, white spots, and black mold growth. It can be quite expensive to replace all of the water-damaged furniture at once.
However, restoring and fixing water-damaged furniture can save you money and allow you to keep cherished keepsakes. Before diving into the restoration process, it is essential to understand the causes of water damage, which can come from sources such as roof leaks, leaking pipes, water overflow, faulty appliances, heavy rainfall, and natural disasters like flooding and hurricanes.
In this blog post, we are primarily focused on restoring wooden water-damaged furniture as this is the most used furniture worldwide. Wooden furniture can experience several issues like warping, white and black spots, crumpled veneer, and eventually falling apart if left untreated. First, it is essential to dry out the wood as soon as possible. The wood swells and warps due to water damage, and letting it dry will prevent further damage. After drying, repair the furniture by adding extra fixtures to strengthen the structure. If the water damage is extensive, use wood filler in the affected areas to prevent cracks from splitting apart.
If you see white spots on your furniture, it came in contact with contaminated water, and you can treat them easily by mixing a spoonful of baking soda and a cleaning solution.
Black spots indicate mold growth and need to be treated by removing the upper finish of the wood, cleaning the mold with a peroxide cleaning solution, and coating the area with a new finish. Finally, liquid furniture polish can be used to remove dull white spots on veneer furniture.
The key is to act quickly, repair the structure, and apply the appropriate treatment to restore your furniture after water damage. And if things are out of your hand or you simply don’t want the headache, don’t hesitate to call a professional water remediation company in Florida, which can lessen your stress and will be more cost effecting than buying new furniture.