Steelcase Explains How to Handle Flood-Damaged Furniture

"What if my furniture is damaged by a flood?" Good question, with so much flooding triggered by Hanna and Gustav in two regions of the country. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Steelcase (www.steelcase.com) offers an online guide for handling products that have been damaged by a flood:

* Products that can absorb water are potentially contaminated by bacterial/fecal matter, toxic substances, mold, etc., which can present a health risk. These products should be discarded. This includes: wood products, wood-core work surfaces, fabric, foam, upholstery, fabric and acoustical panel surfaces, tack boards and cores, gypsum, and Fiberglas insulation inside of demountable/modular floor-to-ceiling walls.
* Power products, such as modular power ways, receptacles, power harnesses, base power feeds and lighting, all have the possibility of corrosion or liquid contamination, which can create fire hazards and have unpredictable effects on the contact resistance, voltages and performance. These products should also be discarded and replaced.
* Steel panel frames and storage units can be dried and cleaned effectively; however, customers should be extremely cautious about attempting to reuse other components and should never attempt to save electrical components subjected to flooding.

The company notes that, even with drying and cleaning, there may be hidden damage, especially in parts that include absorbent material. It asked customers to contact their local Steelcase dealers for assistance in bringing their locations back to working order.

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