The current rain event has caused widespread devastation. We’ve had calls from clients looking for advice on how to salvage their flood affected furniture. We’ve decided to put up this guide to help Queenslanders save those special pieces.
Whether it’s a little water or a lot the good news is that most solid timber furniture can be salvaged if you take the right steps now. We hope that this guide helps make it a bit easier to decide what to discard and what to salvage.
Photos – it’s important that you take photos. As with any insurance claim, the insurer will need evidence of the damage. We frequently work with insurers so we always advise clients to take one overall shot and close ups of damage for each item on the claim. This is most important for the sentimental and antique items that you really want to keep.
Next, Clean – Gently wipe away debris with a clean wet cloth. If it’s really dirty use some mildly soapy water. Wipe dry with a dry cloth.
Dry it out – When you can, move items to a dry location. We often see damage to the feet/bases/legs of furnishings from water ingress which can be made worse when left to sit on a damp surface. If you can’t move it to a dry spot, try to raise it off the floor with bricks or blocks. Allow to dry naturally in a shaded/covered area if possible. Direct sun is a big no no as excessive heat and rapid or accelerated drying will cause splits and bowing. We also tend to see a bit of splitting and cracking when industrial drying units are used in the same area as furniture is being stored.
Mould – Yuck!! Mould will tend to set in if your furniture remains damp for an extended period. If you see evidence of mould forming, gently wipe surfaces with soapy water. Then mix up some white vinegar and water in a spray bottle – spray and wipe off. This should help to keep the mould at bay whilst you are waiting for assessment and repair.
Upholstered Furniture – Can sometimes be salvaged, but unless its an antique or sentimental it’s usually not worth it. All upholstered items will need to be fully re-upholstered to ensure the piece is hygienic, cleaning the fabric will not stop mould from forming in the foam and padding underneath.
Veneers – Water and moisture damage can cause older glues to breakdown. This in turn causes the veneer to lift from the substrate. Once the veneer lifts the drying process causes it to split, crack and bubble. It’s definitely best to let professional restorers assess veneer items to see if it will be possible to restore them.
We hope this guide has been of some assistance to you. If you need further assistance with insurance quotes, restoration or repair work or further advice please get in touch with us.