In northern Utah, fine furniture can take a beating. Seasonal weather extremes ranging from dry, cold winters to brutal, hot summers can quickly degrade both the value and appearance of even the most well-made pieces. Fortunately, you can take several proactive steps to preserve your furniture’s value. Whether you are the steward of precious antiques or you have invested in your own high-quality furnishings, follow these simple tips to preserve their value for future generations.
Furniture’s Natural Enemies
Your home is a safe haven for you and your family. It’s natural that you would expect your home to protect your furniture as well, but that’s not necessarily the case. Sunlight’s persistent UV rays are the natural enemy of wood, textiles, resin, adhesives and other materials used in furniture-making. Not only does sunlight cause fading and discoloring, it also speeds up degradation. Heat from your home’s vents, fireplace or wood stove can cause similar damage. Fluctuations in atmospheric moisture, ranging from winter’s dryness to summer’s humidity, can cause a myriad of problems. Avoid placing furnishings near uncovered windows, vents or other sources of heat or sunlight. Maintain a stable level of temperature and humidity inside the home throughout the year.
The Danger of Pests and Insects
You may worry about insects and vermin carrying disease or damaging your home’s structure, but you may not have considered the havoc they can wreak on your furniture. Cockroaches are known to munch on furniture, damaging the protective finish. Termites are just as happy to dine on your wood furnishings as your rafters. Meanwhile, mice and rats are known to camp out inside soft furnishings or to harvest the stuffing for their nests. Having regular pest control service is the best way to avoid these problems, but even if you do treat your home regularly, periodic inspections will allow you to detect pest problems before they get out of hand.
Inspecting and Maintaining Fine Furniture
Experts recommend thoroughly inspecting your fine furnishings every six months. Begin with removing cushions, shelves, drawers or any other detachable pieces, inspecting each one carefully. Insect damage may appear as tiny holes or tunnels that run with the wood grain, often accompanied by a fine sawdust known as frass. Cockroach damage will appear as dark, irregular stains. Rodent damage will be more obvious, with gnawed edges, irregular holes or shredded stuffing. Check joints for tightness and for any adhesive or resin seepage. Continue inspecting each piece, including the back, underside and all interior surfaces. Take this opportunity to check and tighten knobs or pulls as well as protective or padded feet. If you detect any damage, contact the manufacturer or a restoration specialist immediately for help and advice.
Guild Hall Fine Furnishings in Salt Lake City offers a variety of fine home furnishings. Whether you wish to replace a badly damaged piece or simply need advice on how to maintain the value of a family heirloom, their professional design staff can help. Contact them today for all your fine furniture needs and questions.