Asked on Mar 05, 2023

How do you fix a water damaged couch?

by Shoshana

My basement flooded which destroyed part of my upholstered couch. Is there any way to fix a water damaged couch without reupholstering it?

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  15 answers
  • Depending on the damage, a shop vac may remove the excess water. Taking it outside to dry the rest of the way would be a good idea. If not possible, set up a fan to do the job.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Mar 05, 2023

    you can call one of the companies that specialize in flooding, etc like Servicemaster and they can do things to dry out the sofa and hopefully save it for you - your insurance should pay for this as well

  • Janice Janice on Mar 05, 2023

    I agree with Ann's advice. I would recommend that the upholstery be cleaned using an upholstery cleaning machine to ensure the sofa isn't retaining bacteria.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 05, 2023

    First allow the piece that was water damaged dry out completely.

    Then vaccum well.

    Wash down using Dawn.

    Use a blow dryer to speed dry and/or a dehumidifier.

    Now comes the sniff test. If you smell any odors sprinkle with baking soda and vaccum up the residue.

    If that won't help you need to call someone perhaps a business that deals with fire damaged stuff since those items are soaked when firefighters are putting the fire out.

  • William William on Mar 05, 2023

    I agree with Ann and Mogie. Take it outside or out to the garage to dry out. Remove any water with a wet and dry vac. Also remove the fabric from underneath to help in drying out.

  • How deep did the water get and how long was it submerged? Depending on its construction, it might mold the fillings or rot the frame. I’d get it dried out completely then assess, see if you’re able to hopefully just use an upholstery cleaner.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 05, 2023

    If you can put it in the sun for several days. It needs a good drying out. Or if you have a shop vac use it to extract the water

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Mar 06, 2023

    Yep I agree with everyone on definitely getting it out of there and getting it entirely dried out. Vacuuming it with baking soda if it has a stale smell should help there. If the fabric is too far stained though you could consider a slip cover or even painting it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 06, 2023

    Hopefully you'll have enough sun and good weather to dry it out outside, a wet vacuum should take out lots of the water and the windy days will help the process along.

  • Shoshana Shoshana on Mar 07, 2023

    Thanks everyone, it was ground water not sewerage that damaged the couch, so we have moved it to a covered area outside to dry out and then I will look at getting someone in to give it a good clean. Hopefully, that will do the trick. Appreciate all the advice!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 07, 2023

    The biggest concern would be the interior foam. Most likely it was filled with water and is a mold issue waiting to happen. Sadly, I think it needs to be replaced.

  • Design 59 Design 59 on Mar 20, 2023

    Mold is likely to be the issue with a leather or vegan leather piece of furniture. The safe option is to dispose of the upholstery and buy a new sofa.

  • Sheila Eagle Sheila Eagle on Apr 07, 2023

    I'm not an apholsterer, but would silica beads in a double bowled container on top of (with a towel over it) and under the couch might wick excess moisture out of the fabric that the dehumidifier didn't get.