Thursday, February 28, 2008

Care of Flood Damaged Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture that has been submerged in flood water may be impossible to salvage if it has been badly soaked. If the piece seems worth the effort, however you will need to clean and oil the springs, replace stuffing, and clean the frame.
Stuffing and covering 1. Remove furniture coverings using a ripping tool, hammer, or tack puller, screwdriver, or chisel.

2. Remove all tacks from the frame.

3. Wash coverings as described for carpets.

4. Throw away all cotton stuffing. You can dry, fumigate and reuse padding made of materials other than cotton.

Springs and frame

1. Wipe off springs and frame. Dry all metal parts and paint them with rust inhibiting paint. Oil springs.

2. Store wood frames where they will dry out slowly.

Mildew Mildew may have developed on damp or wet furniture. Mildew is a gray-white mold that leaves stains and rots fabric unless it is removed promptly. To remove mildew or mildew spots:

1. Brush with a broom to remove loose mold from outer covering. Do this outdoors if possible, so you won't scatter mildew spores (which can start new growth) in the house.

2. Vacuum the surface to draw out mold. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag outside to avoid scattering mold spores in the house.

3. If mildew remains and fabric is washable, sponge lightly with thick soap or detergent suds. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Get as little water on the fabric as possible, so the padding doesn't get wet.

4. If mold remains, wipe the furniture with a damp cloth dipped in dilute alcohol (1 cup denatured alcohol to 1 cup water) or a chlorine bleach solution (1/4 teaspoon bleach to a cup of water).

5. Dry the article thoroughly.

6. Use a low-pressure spray containing a fungicide to get rid of must odors and remaining mildew. Moisten all surfaces thoroughly. Respray frequently if mildew is a continuing problem. Spraying rooms with an aerosol material will not eliminate mildew problems.

7. If molds have grown into inner parts, send furniture to a dry cleaning or storage company for thorough drying and fumigation. Fumigation will kill molds present at the time but will not protect against future attacks.

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