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Friday, October 31, 2014

Clean, Repair and Disinfect Furniture

By Jonathan Meyer

Depending on the extent of the damage, furniture may or may not be salvaged. If burns are not too severe, the burns may be sanded and the furniture refinished. Before you start cleaning and restoring your furniture, determine what to keep and what to discard.

Before You Start

Keep in mind that before you can start salvaging your furniture, you must take safety steps to confirm that the danger is over. Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and that the damaged items have been properly cooled down.

Many of the solvents and cleaning materials are very flammable. Be absolutely sure there is no flame or spark anywhere in the area where it could ignite cleaning materials vapors. If possible, work outdoors, or in a well-ventilated room with open windows.

In many fire damage cases there is additional damage caused by the water used to extinguish the fire and by other extinguishing chemicals. If that is the case, follow the water damage safety rules and thoroughly dry out before starting to restore your furniture.

Hire a Restoration Professional

You might want to consider hiring a restoration professional to restore your furniture as they will have the appropriate knowledge and equipment to provide the best results. In addition, a fire damage restorer will be able to provide great results for soot and odor removal.

Hiring a professional is even more important when dealing with high-end furniture, antiques, and items of sentimental value.

Smoke Damaged Furniture

If your furniture suffered only smoke damage, use a solvent to clean it. For most furniture finishes, denatured alcohol or paint thinner will help to remove smoke stains. Clean a small section at a time by applying the solvent to a rough surface cloth and rub thoroughly.

After removing the stains, clean the surface again with a damp cloth and dry with another clean cloth. Assure that the item is dry and polish it with a recommended waxing material.

Before using any solvent, read the label and follow directions. Be sure to discard alcohol-soaked cloths in a tightly closed metal can.

Cleaning procedures for fire damaged furniture are similar to the procedures used for smoke damaged furniture. However, the main challenge is to remove burn stains. If the item is lightly scorched, use sand paper to smoothen up the damaged area.

It is recommended to have a professional do that for you to prevent additional damage to the furniture.

Fire Damaged Upholstery

To clean and repair upholstery, please refer to the following guide: Clean, Repair and Disinfect Textiles and Clothes.

Recommended Reading
Recovering from Fire Damage: Cleaning, Repairing and Disinfecting

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