On getting back home after a long day from work, you discover that your bed, carpet, mattress, and pillow are all soaked because you left the house in a hurry, forgetting to close the windows and the rain which lasted all day got in. In this case, water damage was with clean water, not contaminated water hence these materials may be salvageable. Water damage can be devastating for furniture and more often a need for replacement of the damaged piece is widely sought. The mattress is also not spared from this fate and if the culprit is contaminated water, then such mattress needs to be discarded while those damaged by clean water may be salvageable and fortunately, we are here to tell you how you can achieve properly achieve that with no health risks. Prompt Decision Making The dilemma to restore and repair or not to restore and repair occurs here, and a decision needs to be taken in a timely manner. This is because once mold gets incorporate into your mattress, they become almost inseparable with it and to get it out then would be very difficult, almost impossible, asides from the health risks that mold poses, your mattress would never remain the same. Hence, the longer you take to, the higher your chances of discarding your mattress. But before you make your decision, consider the following factors:
• How Badly damaged the mattress is: A mattress that has been underwater and soaked with contaminated water for longer hours usually does not have much of a fighting chance and needs prompt replacement.
• The age and Quality of the mattress: If it is an old mattress with poor quality, that suffers this ordeal, chances are that it would be more badly affected and more often than not, need to be thrown out.
• The material of the mattress: A cotton, foam or rubber mattress that has been damaged by water is highly susceptible to mold growth and with a lesser fighting chance for restoration, needs to be thrown away.
If the mattress springs, the better the chances of reuse because it allows adequate air flow. Whether you choose to hire an upholstery company to restore your mattress or you want to do the restoration yourself, you would need to decide before 48 hours, if not, mold growth would occur. Mattress soaked for longer than 48 hours would require you to go mattress shopping.
If you decide to embark on this yourself here are several steps that would help you in ensuring you have a well-restored mattress.
Step1: Dry the mattress: The aim of this is to absorb water completely from the mattress and the sooner you get it done the better the chances of survival of your mattress. Remove all beddings, get dry towels and scrub the mattress. Apply press to the scrubbing and replace wet towels with dry ones.
After repeating this step several times and you feel that you have absorbed enough water, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Tackle residual moisture: The fact that you are exhausted from scrubbing does not necessarily translate to complete removal of water and moisture from the mattress. To help you achieve an almost absolute removal, you would need a wet/dry vacuum, baking soda or cat litter. Use the vacuum to suction water from inside of the mattress. It not only helps remove excess moisture but also removes any dirt or debris on the mattress. Sprinkle the baking soda onto the mattress to completely cover it. Work it into the mattress by scrubbing it with a dry sponge then, leave for a few hours to let it do its work, then remove it by vacuuming. The baking soda helps to absorb moisture and prevent mold growth on the mattress. Cat litter may also be used in cases of excessive dampness. The same method /pattern of application of the baking soda is used. Keep repeating the baking soda/cat litter application with the vacuuming process until you feel that enough moisture as humanly conceivable as left the mattress.
Step 3: Clean Out the mattress: No matter how much moisture you manage to wring out of your mattress mold would still take it upon itself to grow there hence, this step is an important one as it helps to tackle the mold problem. The use of alcohol as a mold the deterrent is used here. Mix up a solution of one cup of alcohol, one cup of water (i.e. one-part alcohol, one-part water), wipe across the mattress with a clean cloth that has being dipped into the mixture and the best way to do that is to Wipe the entire surface of the bed, wringing out the cloth as you do this.
Step 4: Sundry: Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and the ultraviolet rays it emits helps it work that magic. The best way to ensure and almost guarantee complete dryness is to place it under the sun. You might have done the best you can in getting the moisture out but to make sure the bed is sanitary and safe; you would need to sundry. To achieve this, stand the mattress on its side and support it or lean it against a wall so that it does not fall over and air can circulate around it. You can also use dehumidifiers or fans to complete the drying process if for one reason or another, cannot sundry.
Step 5: Test for mold: Once you have gone through this arduous processes of getting your mattress restored, you would need to check if the effort was for naught and if mold growth is underway. The sniff test can be done to ascertain if mold and mildew are already growing. It just requires you to put your nose close to the said mattress and smell to see if damp or not. Mold growth occurs in 3 stages:
• Stage 1- Mold begins to appear inside the mattress as white fuzz. That is not really visible.
• Stage 2- Mold then turns green as it spreads towards the surface
• Stage 3- It then becomes black as it appears on the surface of the mattress. Once stage 3 is seen, your best bet is to throw the mattress away and look for a replacement as it is not worth risking your health over. Restored Mattress: Once restored either by self or a professional and making sure moisture and smells have been taken care of, position the bed back into its place. Overall, it is important to know when to save your mattress whether by self or with the help of a water damage professional, or to look for a suitable replacement which is safer in the long run because you need to put your health first.