Wood furniture is oftentimes some of our most cherished furniture. Regardless of whether it’s an heirloom that’s been in the family for generations or something you bought new, wood furniture is something that you can expect to have for a long time. One way in which this might cause stress is if it gets damaged by water. Water damage is a very serious thing when it comes to wood furniture, so if your furniture gets water in it, it’s important to understand what needs to be done in order to prevent mildew or rot from setting in. Let’s take a closer look and see just how to remove water damage from furniture in order to restore it to its natural state.
Understanding How it Happens
The majority of wood furniture is finished with a coating of protective substances. The most important aspect of this finish is to protect it against water, but they’re also commonly used to protect against abrasions or even change the appearance of the wood for decorative purposes.
You may think that finished wood is protected, particularly if it’s coated in a special water resistance substance. Unfortunately, there is no finish that is 100% water proof. It is possible for water damage to set in, even if a finish was applied by a professional. It can break down from too much sunlight or through regular use.
Types of Water Damage
If you’ve ever set a glass of water on a wood table, you may be familiar with the milky white ring it leaves behind. When this occurs, the protecting finish is penetrated with water, changing its transparency into a white color, much like ice.
Another way that wood furniture is commonly damaged is by flooding or spilled water. You might notice an area with lighter colored wood surrounded by a dark brown border. This indicates that water might have penetrated the wood.
How to Fix Water Damage
The first step you want to take is to ensure the wood is dried completely. Place the damaged piece in a nice warm room with good air circulation. You may even opt to use fans or put it outside if the weather permits. You don’t want it to be too hot or too cold. Trying to dry a wood piece where it’s too cold can take too long and will cause mold to set in. If it’s too hot, it could the wood to crack.
Afterwards, you’ll want to remove any white rings. The best method for this is to mix up a solution of baking soda and tooth paste in equal parts. Use a wet cloth and apply it to the area with the rings. Afterwards, polish the area with a piece of cotton fabric.
If mildew has already set in, you will need to remove the finish and actually destroy the mildew using bleach before reapplying a finishing coat to protect it from further damage.
The best way to prevent water damage is by using common sense. Always use coasters for any drinking glasses, clean up spills as soon as they happen, and make sure to remove the furniture from any wet carpeting in situations with large spills. Repairing water damage is possible, but it can be time consuming.