Save Your Precious Fabrics with a Professional Drapery Cleaning Service
After floodwaters have gone through your home and contaminated your drapes, carpets, and upholstered furniture, you will wonder what, if anything, can be saved.
Should you discard everything and start again, or is there some hope for rescuing your favorite items and heirloom fabrics with a drapery cleaning service and upholstery restoration?
Before you cart anything off to the rubbish dump, explore your options because some of your precious items may be salvageable.
How to Safely Handle Wet Textiles and Drapes
Draperies and curtains that hang to the floor will have floodwater contamination. The resulting damage can show as color changes, bleeding dyes, watermarks, and shrinkage.
Mildew will grow on drapes and upholstery that are submerged for some time and will make drape cleaning significantly more challenging. However, depending on the damage and type of flooding, some fabrics can be salvaged.
The way you handle the drapes, blinds, and textiles will help you get better results with whatever cleaning method you use. The following handling methods will ensure you keep yourself safe from contaminants and your fabric from further damage:
· Always wear rubber gloves during handling
· Wet fibers in heirloom garments and drapes are more delicate than usual, so careful handling will prevent tears and holes
· Do not fold drapes with bleeding dyes as they can transfer to the other side
· Wet drapes are about 50% heavier than usual, so support the corners when picking them up
· Use your hands to support the fabric from underneath
· Cup your hands when lifting small fabrics out of contaminated water
· Large, heavy items can be supported with a nylon window screen, sheet, towel, or a makeshift stretcher.
Cleaning Wet Drapes
You can rinse dye-fast textiles in clean water to get rid of mud and debris. Use a bathtub for larger drapes. If nothing else is available, it might be possible to rinse the fabric out with a hose and nozzle set to a fine spray.
Drying Cleaned Drapes
Remove the clean fabric from the water using the safe handling procedures described above. Gently press the fabric with the palm of your hand to squeeze out the excess moisture.
After placing the drapes onto a polypropylene sheet, clean towel, or sheet, blot them with a paper towel or another clean cloth to dry them further.
Now cover the fabric with more clean sheets and towels. These will continue to wick soiled moisture away from the surface. Keep these covers in place until the drapes are dry. Use dehumidifiers or fans to help with the air drying process and stop mold from growing, but avoid using heaters or hot air blowers.
Can You Save Flood Damage Upholstered Furniture?
Unfortunately, when it comes to upholstery, your options may be limited. Contaminated upholstery exposed to floodwaters will have stains and watermarks. Mud and silt can penetrate deep into padding given enough time.
Flood-soaked padding is challenging to dry out, making it a haven for mold and mildew to grow inside and outside. Wood finishes can become cloudy and if the water has penetrated the timber, it will mildew.
Soaked timber expands and will make all the joints lose. And if those issues aren't enough, floodwater contaminated with sewage, pesticides, and industrial chemicals means your upholstered furniture has absorbed a cocktail of dangerous substances.
Chemicals and disinfectants will change the color and finish of your fabric, but results will vary depending on the fabric.
How to Restore Damaged Upholstery
You will need to strip upholstered furniture down to the frame. Check the springs as they may not be salvageable depending on how they are attached to the frame. You can clean and disinfect "S" springs that are attached to the frame with a metal clamp.
Coil springs attached by a webbing hose of burlap can be hard to restore because wet burlap will grow mildew. Check with a professional restoration service, as they may need to completely remove and replace this type of upholstery if they are to save your furniture.
Repairing a Wooden Frame
Use these steps if you are going to try and save the frame of damaged upholstered furniture:
· Disinfect the wood with a disinfectant product.
· Slowly air dry the frame in a well-ventilated location
· Check for and clean off mildew regularly (mildew will persist and keep coming back while the wood is still moist)
· Re-glue loose joints (skipping this step could mean a squeaky chair)
It's critical that you don't dry the furniture in the sun. It will dry too fast, which will warp and twist the wood and permanently ruin your furniture.
How Curtain Cleaning Services Assess the Damage
You can dry clean and launder everyday clothes and other fabric items and get good results. However, heirloom fabrics like drapes, wedding dresses, rugs, special garments, and upholstery will need special handling. Cottons or linens will need delicate hand washing, while other fibers like rayon, silks, and wool can be dry-cleaned.
A drapery cleaning service will assess the fabric to determine the best method for cleaning and restoration. First, they will check that the dyes are stable by swabbing a small area with a cotton swab soaked with a soapy water mixture. If the dyes transfer to the cotton swab, then a fabric preservation professional will need to treat the dyes.
Fabrics like silk are delicate and need to be carefully handled to prevent further damage. The cleaning and restoration service will also check the fabric for tears and splits, and provide extra support for the damaged areas during transport.
Call the Professional Restoration and Drapery Cleaning Service in Your Area
A flood restoration service is a great option, especially for drapes and upholstered furniture with fine fabrics you can’t easily clean yourself.
Professional restoration services like Best Option Restoration have trained professionals with experience at removing contaminants from all types of fabric without shrinkage or causing extra damage. If you're wondering whether your heirloom drapes or furniture can be saved, call today to find out more.