The Effects Of Water Damage On Furniture
We know that water damage can seriously damage a home or business on a number of levels, but what is less known (or at least talked about) is the level of damage that may be inflicted on your wood furniture. Furniture may be permanently stained by water, as well as see problems with loosened joints, warping, or cracks. The damage will also get progressively worse until the water is dried up and the piece properly treated.
Wooden furniture will need to be dried out in order to prevent the shrinkage that can lead to cracks, warps, and splits in the wood itself. Such treatment often means specialized care, which is why you want to secure the services of a qualified and competent water damage restoration company. Too many people try to save a buck on restoration costs only to end up paying far more due to improper drying and treatment procedures.
In any case of water damage, the sooner treatment begins, the greater are your chances for success, and wood furniture pieces can usually be saved if they are treated promptly. If the furniture has been submerged in water for more than two or three days, it is likely beyond repair. Treatment includes slow but steady drying procedures followed by repair and restoration techniques.
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White spots caused by water damage may be removed by using a damp cloth dipped in turpentine or a solution of ½ up of household ammonia and ½ cup of water mixed. Wipe the surface dry and then examine it. If the color is not restored, then use steel wool dipped in olive oil or lemon oil, rub slightly along the wood grain, and wipe down with a soft cloth. Once the color has been restored, you can polish with a wax or furniture polish.
For furniture that has been submerged, or found in water of any significant depth, you will need to rinse off any mud or debris that is present, then remove the back panels, drawers and doors, which may be difficult if the water has caused them to expand. Move the furniture to an outdoor area to facilitate drying through better air circulation and reduced humidity. If you are forced to dry indoors, use dehumidifiers to keep the area as dry as possible. Do not let wood furniture dry in the sun, however, as this may cause the wood to warp.
You may also use fans, blowers, or other air moving devices to dry out damaged furniture. Refrain from using heaters as this may cause the same warping we mentioned earlier.
If the furniture is expensive or has sentimental value, it is recommended that you forego any attempts to repair it yourself and instead call on a restoration professional.