Removing a water ring on a coffee table is simple with a few household products. Getting the smoke smell out of your clothes after a night out is pretty easy, too. But if a vintage upholstered piece of furniture or antique Persian rug has been damaged by a flood or fire, a contents restoration team is an invaluable resource.
Both water and fire are hard on fabrics. Discoloration occurs when water molecules get into the fibers of a material, switching their orientation in the process. That different direction creates the appearance of a stained patch.
Fire causes lingering damage after the flames are put out. Clothing, textiles, and rugs act like sponges that absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The fibers collect and hold on to particles smaller than dust that retain spells.
In traditional restoration industry thinking, textiles that have been exposed to asbestos, soot, sewage, or mold, are typically considered a total loss. Items damaged with contaminants such as these are typically inventoried, and then thrown away.
However, if you get a contents recovery service to help, you can often save many of your family heirlooms. In some cases, fabrics can be sanitized and deodorized with a combination of methods: ozone chamber, commercial grade laundry detergents, dry cleaning, etc. Cleaning properly will remove hazards from bacteria and viruses, and drying will prevent problems from mold.
Furniture pieces will be inventoried and then transported to another location. All About Contents facility has many tools to revive your favorite pieces. Success will depend on many factors: magnitude of damage:, type of materials, cleanliness of water from flooding, or chemicals in the air from the fire. Solid wood furniture is less porous and has a better chance of being salvaged than 100% upholstered or particle board furniture.
If you had a bunch of water soaked up in the wall to wall carpet, you have to act immediately to dry the carpet and subfloor. If replacement carpet is installed over a damp subfloor, it will mildew. Removal of the carpet and repairing the subfloor is complicated and messy; this is a job for the restoration team.
Flooded carpet pads should always be discarded and replaced since flood water may contain contaminants.
Area rugs can be transported to an offsite facility to receive specialized care. Not only will all the soot, smoke, and debris be safely removed, the rugs will be thoroughly and safely dried to prevent mold and mildew.
Even if fabric was not burned in the fire, smoke and soot have probably still damaged the fibers. So it’s not as simple as throwing a load of clothes in the washing machine. This situation requires the expertise of fire damage restoration professionals.
And if fabric got wet in a flood or from a broken pipe, the moisture and organic material on the cloth will quickly mold and mildew.
Both scenarios depend on the type of material, its condition, and amount of damage. Full service contents restorers have a good track record for recovering fabric if addressed soon after the event.
During the entire process, both the restoration team and the contents recovery team will avoid disturbing and spreading mold spores. Precautions to minimize exposure to mold could include masks, repsoitarionr, air scrubbers or disinfectants.
If you have flood insurance, contact your insurance adjuster immediately. But then take action, do not wait for an adjuster. For an inventory for the insurance company , take photographs of all the damaged property that you must throw away- “proof of loss.”
When the adjuster arrives, he or she will assess damages. The owner should sign a proof of loss statement. Your policy will have some flexibility; if you want All About Contents to attempt to salvage some items, that could allow the insurance company to cover more of your losses. (Additional damage can be added if found after this conversation.) A contents restoration service works with you and the insurance company to save as many of your things as possible.
All About Contents has been the full-service contents cleaning company for contents cleaning since 2011. In the midst of a stressful experience, Atlanta’s content experts can walk you through the process of saving your items (and your sanity.) Plus, they are much more familiar with your insurance procedure than you are. They will work through the paperwork with you.