Abbey Group

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When our oak dining table was damaged during our move we didn’t for a minute think that anyone would be able to restore it to its former state. The table was a wedding present, and so we are thrilled that you have not only repaired the damage so well that we can’t even tell where it was, but the table looks better than it has in years. I’m sure we’ll be back in future, and will be recommending your restoration services to our friends

James and Vanessa

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Fire and flood

We have extensive experience of providing restoration and repair from fire, flood and accidental damage.

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Bespoke furniture

Our craftsmen create bespoke furniture to meet your exact needs.

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Antique Furniture Restoration

We have extensive experience of providing restoration and repair from fire.

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Insurance

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Caring for Your Furniture After a Fire

21st February 2019

 

For a lot of us, it’s one of our worst nightmares. Finding our homes full of smoke and fire, watching the fire engine dousing our belongings with water to quench the flames. It’s never a good thing, but house fires do happen. In fact, every year fire and rescue services attend over 167,150 fires, 34,759 of which were house fires. These fires are often devastating, destroying or damaging many things in the home. But some things can be saved, even if they have been damaged by fire and smoke, including your furniture. Today, we have a few tips that will help you rescue your furniture from the ravages of a fire.

Fabric Covered Furniture

If you have fabric sofas, chairs or mattresses, then these can easily come off worse in a fire. But more than the damage, the worst here is going to be the smell. Fabrics hold on to smells, and that smoky, must air can hang around for a long time. The smoke damage in fabric can also cause problems later on, even if it looks clean, since the fibres slowly release smoke and soot particles and contaminate the air. To get rid of the smell, first vaccuum the soot and debris from the fabric with a flat brush attachment. Sprinkle the fabric with baking soda, leave for 24 hours, and then hoover again. Once you’ve done this, remove all removable covers and put them in the washing machine, on a cold wash, and dry them outdoors. Spray the remaining fabric on the furniture with a product that is specifically designed to deodorize smoke-damaged fibres. These are readily available from most supermarkets.

Leather Furniture

Leather might look lovely, but it’s much more challenging to clean and restore than fabric. Make sure you don’t let the leather get too wet when you clean it, and avoid stretching the material as you go. Start by vacuuming the piece, just as you would with fabric. Then clean the whole thing with a leather soap. Next, run over the leather with a mixture of water and vinegar (to remove the odour) and rinse with a damp cloth. If the smell is particularly stubborn, try the baking soda trick. Leather is a challenging thing to work with, so if you don’t feel up to it, talk to a local furniture restorer.

Wooden Furniture

If your wooden furniture has got wet from fighting the fire, there is one golden rule. Do NOT dry it out in the sun outside. While this might seem like a sensible thing to do, it will actually cause the wood to twist and warp out of shape as it dries, leaving it crooked forever. Before you do anything, you will want to clean the wood. You can do this by first going over it with a stiff brush or a dry rag to remove any surface dirt or soot. Then remove all of the drawers and scrub the wood with a gentle detergent. Then leave it in a well ventilated indoor space to dry, preferably with the windows open or fans blowing on it. If you have a furnace or an air conditioner, even better, as this will help it dry out quicker. Clean and dry the drawers separately so that you avoid any sticking when you replace them.

Don’t be too hasty in thinking the wood is dry though! The surface moisture may be gone and it might feel dry to the touch, but moisture can stay in the wood fibres for several days, so it’s worth leaving it for at least 4 days before you do anything else. Once the wood is dry, you might notice some white spots or film forming. This isn’t anything to worry about. To get rid of it, just mix up a solution from ½ a cup of ammonia and ½ a cup of water, and rub the surface of the wood. Then go over it with some wood polish to bring back the glow and shine of the wood.

Of course, it’s not always easy to rescue fire damaged furniture. Finding the time and resources to do it properly, or being able to, aren’t always an option. That’s where a professional comes in. A professional restoration specialist will be able to take away your fire damaged furniture, and return it to you as good as new. At Abbey Group, we specialise in restoring fire and flood damaged furniture from all over the country. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch with us today.

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