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Saving Fire Damaged and Water Damaged Furniture

Aug 6, 2008
Furniture in a home that survives a fire is likely to be fire, smoke, and water damaged. Often homeowners assume that this furniture is not salvageable and they discard it. This is not always the case with fire and smoke damaged furniture. (Water Damage.. Maybe..) Many times it is possible to restore the furniture. If the furniture in question is valuable or has sentimental value there is hope that it can be salvaged.

When fire has damaged your home and belongings, report the fire to your homeowner's insurance agent right away to start a claim. Take pictures of all the damage and have the insurance agent come out to survey the damage as well. If the fire damaged furniture is of value call a professional fire restoration company to do the restoration. They will know how to remove scorching, soot, and smoke smell from the valuable pieces. They should also be able to advise you as to how best to restore other pieces of furniture yourself.

Remove the furniture from the fire damaged house. If it also suffered water damage from putting out the fire let it dry completely. Start by removing the soot from the furniture. To do this take denatured alcohol or paint thinner and dampen a rough surfaced cloth with it. Rub the surface of the furniture with the cloth a little at a time to remove the soot. After all the soot is rubbed off, wipe the surface again with a clean wet cloth. Dry the furniture with a clean dry cloth. When the furniture has been thoroughly dried it can be polished with bees wax using a soft lint free cloth. If the furniture had only suffered from soot damage this should have restored it.

Furniture that is soot and fire damaged needs to have more work done to it. After removing the soot using the method described above the areas that have been scorched need to be dealt with. Take sand paper and rub the scorched areas until the burn stains are gone. Wipe the furniture down with a cloth dampened with paint thinner to remove ant dust and residue. When the furniture is dry it can be refinished with polyurethane. This should go a long way to restoring the furniture back to a usable condition. If the furniture has been badly scorched it is better to discard it and buy new furniture. If your homeowners insurance covers the cost of restoring your most precious furniture then have a professional do this work as they will have the knowledge to do the job well.

Ask your insurance agent to recommend a good furniture restoration company. See that the company is licensed and insured. Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no complaints about the company. Ask for references and check them carefully to be sure that other customers have been pleased with the quality of the company's work.

Hire specialists if at all possible because they will be equipped to do the restoration better than the homeowner. This will also be a speedier way to have the fire damaged furniture restored to its former beauty.
About the Author
Evie Parrish researches water damageprojects. Whether its water damage, fire damage or mold and mildew removal, she sees it all.
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