Water damage can occur as the result of a leaky roof, leaky or burst pipes, and even melting snow. In some instances, you aren’t even aware of the damage, until it becomes visible and by that time, has ballooned into a larger problem. Regardless of the cause, if water damages furniture -- particularly wood -- it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be thrown out and replace it. Too many people think that water damage is too much to deal with and wind-up throwing out furniture that’s otherwise salvageable.
What to do with Water Damaged Furniture
The biggest concern is the materials the furniture is constructed from -- leather, upholstery, fabric, or wood. Next, you'll have to determine what's available, financially feasible, and your skill level. In other words, if you aren't capable or comfortable with upholstering, the cost of the materials are more than piece replacement, or, the damage is just too extensive, it's not worth the time, effort, and expense of trying to save.
While flooding can happen for many different reasons, it can leave your home in a damaged state. However, it may still be possible to rescue your furniture. If flooding occurs as a result of a severe storm or hurricane, you may even get some warning ahead of time to secure your furniture to prevent any damage in the first place. However, we all know it is not always possible to do so. --About.com
For upholstery, leather, and fabric, you'll likely find it's too expensive to try and repair, especially if you need to hire a professional. In most instances, upholstery, leather, and fabric repair will be more costly to restore than to replace. Should the damage be minimal, you'll be able to refinish it, recover it, or patch it to give it a new life. In addition, this is also a good time to look at different options for another color or shade. After all, if you're going to repair it, why not do so to make it fit your decor? When you've decided what you want, you can then begin to restore your water damaged wood furniture by doing the following:
- Dry it out. When wood furniture gets wet, it's got to dry out before you attempt to restore it. Put it in a dry but warm place, complete with fans and a heater, if necessary. Do not place the heater near the furniture because it could catch fire or warp.
- Treat any white spots. White spots can appear on wet wood furniture, mix equal parts of toothpaste and baking soda to treat them and use a damp, clean cloth to rub the solution onto the white spots to remove them.
- Treat mildew right away. If mildew appears on the wood furniture, remove the finish by sanding it, and then use a bleach solution to treat it.
- Sand it down. Even if there's no mildew present, but the water damage is visible, you'll have to sand off the finish. If you're going to use a finish coat that matches the original, you'll only have to rough out the water spots. However, if you're going to change the color, you'll need to sand the original finish completely off.
- Refinish the wood furniture. You can now paint or stain the wood furniture to complete the repair. It might take more than one coat, depending on the color and the paint or stain you're using. Do this in a dry and clean area so to avoid dust problems.
If the furniture is damaged beyond repair, just contact a local junk hauling service to pick it all up and dispose of it.