Salvage of Water Damaged Wooden Furniture: Is it Possible?

When it comes to maintaining your home, most people understand the importance of regularly caring for the look and integrity of their wooden furniture. However, nothing causes more fear and uncertainty around this process like dealing with water damage.

As we approach the rainy season, roof leaks and floods are much more common in households, as are the effects of water damage to furniture. At Trefler’s, we understand the headaches and heartaches that water damaged wooden furniture can cause to families and work hard to ensure you’re able to deal with these issues as they arise successfully.

Below are some guidelines on how to properly address water damage as it occurs and how you can effectively salvage your furniture pieces.

How Can Water Affect Wooden Furniture?

Most wooden furniture pieces are treated with unique finishes that are designed to repel moisture. However, long-term exposure to water can break down these protective barriers and allow the moisture to be absorbed into the wood. Once this occurs, the water can begin to cause the wood to swell and deteriorate over time. In other cases, prolonged exposure to the moisture can cause glue in the joints of the wood furniture to soften, causing pieces to separate and weaken its structural integrity.

Can Water Damaged Furniture Be Repaired?

In most cases, water damaged furniture can be repaired, although it depends on the severity of the damage and the type of water it was exposed to. It’s important to note that there are three main categories of water damage, each of them needing to be addressed differently.

Clean Water – Typically caused by roof leaks, natural floods, and malfunctioning appliances. The water poses no health risks from exposure or ingestion.

Greywater – Known as Category 2 water damage, this water, while considered sewage, can contain specific pathogens and induce illnesses if ingested. This type of water is typically found in bathtub and shower leaks, along with washing machines, sinks, and dishwashers.

Blackwater – This is the worst case scenario of water leaks and comes in the form of contaminated wastewater caused by broken sewage pipes, backed up toilets, and rising water from rivers and lakes.

In most cases, clean and greywater damage scenarios, furniture can be salvaged if you apply some immediate first aid principles to the water damaged pieces. The first step is to get the wood out of the standing water as quickly as possible. For clean water scenarios, take steps to pat dry (don’t wipe) any wet furniture pieces. If the furniture is sitting in greywater, it would be beneficial to rinse it with clean water first before drying. This will help to remove any potential contaminants in the water. Drying of the wood should be a slow process, so never apply direct heat in an attempt to save the furniture. For blackwater scenarios, it is critical that you seek furniture restoration professionals to accurately assess and treat the furniture properly as there may be immediate health risks when attempting to repair it.

Using a Professional Furniture Repair Service

When dealing with more substantial water-damaged wooden furniture pieces, we at Trefler’s recommend working with our highly trained conservators to diagnose and restore your furniture back to its original state. For furniture pieces that have been exposed to environmental factors such as smoke, fire damage, and long-term water submersion, it’s important that the furniture is treated properly in Trefler’s ozone remediation treatment containers. This will ensure that all potential health hazards resulting from the build-up of bacteria and mold growth are removed.

Once water damaged furniture is properly dried, the stripping and refinishing process can be time-consuming and tedious, and also requires the use of special tools and equipment to manage this process efficiently. At Trefler’s, we value the importance that these furniture pieces have to families and our skilled craftsmen restore all products by hand using high-quality oils, finishes, and structural components.

Among other things, the furniture in your home is an investment in the comfort and happiness of your family. If you are currently dealing with the uncertainty of water damaged furniture repairs, give Trefler’s a call today and let us help you through the process.

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