How to safely dry flood damaged furniture

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When it comes to flooding we often focus on the major task of drying out buildings. Whilst this is certainly a priority, there is also the potential to salvage individual furniture items. If you do decide to take the time to save individual items then there are some things you need to consider.

Can it be saved?

The first thing to decide is whether the item of furniture is worth the time and effort of restoring. In some cases the flood water will have damaged it beyond repair and it will just have to be replaced. However, there may be times where an item of furniture is antique, unique or has sentimental value. Depending on how long the water has been in contact with the item it may be possible to rescue some items of furniture and even carpet.

Flood water can be contaminated especially if it has come from a river or external source. Items such as mattresses will have absorbed contaminants and it is better to get rid of them completely to avoid health problems.

In most cases electrical items that have been damaged by water cannot be saved as the water will have got into the wiring and this could be very dangerous.

Clean and disinfect

Before drying out any furniture you need to clean it and make sure it is completely disinfected. Flood water from rivers or overflowing drains can be very contaminated.

Any dried mud or dirt can be scraped away or shaken off. You’ll need to ensure that you wash and rinse items thoroughly to get rid of any contaminants and prevent mould or mildew. Make sure that you choose a disinfectant that is strong enough to kill bacteria but that won’t harm your furniture.

If mould or mildew has already started to develop then you should clean your furniture outdoors to avoid the spores being spread around your home. Mould growth is not only a risk to your building it can also cause respiratory problems and lead to serious illness.

It is advisable to have furniture professionally cleaned to make sure that it is treated correctly.

The cleaning process is very important. If you are not using a professional furniture cleaning company then make sure you take precautions to avoid breathing in any contaminants.

life in the flooded flat


It is vital that furniture is thoroughly dried. Sometimes it can be beneficial to take furniture apart in order to dry it faster. For example removing drawers from dressing tables or taking cushions off sofas.

You can remove excess moisture from the surfaces by blotting or wiping. After this you’ll need to thoroughly dry out the furniture.

Avoid drying items in the sun. It can warp wood and fade carpets or fabrics. Instead use heat drying, dehumidifiers or fans, or a combination of methods.

Depending on which method of drying you choose it may be necessary to seal off the room whilst the furniture is drying out.


After the drying is complete you may have to use glue on joints or veneers to repair them. You may also need to treat wood with cream wood restorers or lanolin. If you are unsure what products are safe to use then it is recommended you speak to professional furniture restoration companies.

Using Arxell

Arxell has been designed to make traditional drying methods more efficient. The units work with existing equipment rather than replacing. This enhances the ability of drying companies to quickly and successfully dry out items of furniture.

Arxell drying units can be built around items of furniture so the drying air is targeted and the process is sped up. Drying out carpets and furniture quickly can prevent mould and fungus growing.

Using Arxell means you don’t have to seal off a whole room to dry out furniture because the drying air is focussed. It also means that the furniture is dried out more evenly.

Another benefit of Arxell is that drying air can be controlled. You can choose how many pieces of equipment are attached to the units and the temperature of the air. Controlling the air means you reduce the risk of damage.

The Arxell drying system can speed up drying of buildings, structures and individual items of furniture which is great news for the drying industry. If you’d like more information on how the system works or how to buy or hire Arxell units then get in touch.