Your bed might be your favorite place in the house – if your bed has suffered from water damage, you have a big problem. Mattresses are one of the most difficult pieces of furniture to dry after a flood or water event. Although the prices vary widely, the average cost of a replacement mattress will set you back about $1000. So of course you want to salvage it if possible.
But before you begin to dry a wet mattress, you need to consider the source of the water. You cannot properly dry a mattress contaminated with groundwater or sewage; it’s virtually impossible to kill mold, bacteria, and parasites. Therefore, you should only attempt to dry a wet mattress if the water is from a clean water source and has not sat longer than 48 hours.
Even if the source is clean water from a broken pipe, you should dispose of a wet mattress that is completely saturated with water. It will simply take too long to dry, increasing the chances of mold and bacteria developing.
You may try to salvage a mattress that has suffered minimal clean water damage. Strip the bedding from the mattress. Soak up excess water. Press towels, sheets, or other fabric into the mattress to absorb as much water as possible out the bottom and sides too. Even better, use a wet/dry vacuum to suck water out of a wet mattress. Work in rows and make sure you get every inch of the mattress.
Next clean its surface with equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol. Make sure you get underneath rivets and in between seams. Then take it out to dry in the sun. Prop it to improve airflow around it.
Watch for signs of mold. Once your mattress is completely dry, check for musty odors and discolorations. If it doesn’t smell or look right, it’s safest to dispose of it. If it passes the smell test, continue to check it regularly for signs of mold. Next week and next month, remember to strip off the bedding and flip the mattress regularly to look for stains or discolorations that could indicate mold grow deep inside.
Memory foam beds provide a great, pressure-free sleep surface and can be very supportive. Moisture is the worst enemy of a foam mattress, since it can hasten the deterioration of foam and affect its performance and weaken the adhesive holding the layers together and ruin the mattress. Worst of all, moisture can accumulate and support mold growth. It is best to have a SRG technician help you determine if memory foam can be salvaged.
If your mattress is wet, chances are your box springs are wet too. The process for drying a wet box spring is very similar to drying a wet mattress. Thankfully, the box spring is often much easier to dry. However, the box spring contains wood which can rot if not dried completely. Allow fans to run longer than you think is necessary to ensure the wood is completely dry. As with your mattress, spray the box spring down with a solution of equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water.
Again, water damage restoration is only possible for pillows that damaged by clean water. Fiberfill pillows may be washed, two at a time, in the warm cycle of a washing machine. Add disinfectant to your regular detergent, and run through an extra rinse cycle. Dry the pillows in the clothes dryer (moderate heat). Make sure they are thoroughly dry before removing.
Water damage restoration of foam rubber and urethane pillows is slightly different: after removing covers, soak the pillows in cool water, machine wash and do not dry in a dryer. Old foam rubber pillows will probably crumble, and are not worth salvaging.
Good news about your expensive feather pillows–you can toss these pillows in your washer but cycle without an agitator. Then set the machine on the delicate cycle and give the pillows a second rinse. Dry feather pillows using the air cycle to keep them fluffy; as the feathers dry, the slight odor will disappear. Drying feather pillows can take as long as two to three hours, so be patient and keep fluffing
Emergency services are the initial steps in returning you to your home. Your furniture and mattress are big, bulky and heavy. Let Southeast Restoration Group do the heavy lifting and get your home back in order. SRG also provides professional deodorization, complete sanitizing, odor removal, and structural repairs.