Value of Vintage Chairs with Moldy Upholstery?

These chairs have been stored in a moist basement. The wood is in excellent condition, but the upholstery shows some sign of possible mildew/mold. Are they still worth money even with damaged upholstery?
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July 13, 20200 found this helpful

As long as the wood isn't damaged, your chairs can be cleaned up . Often when buyers purchase fabric covered chairs, they have them recovered. The wood work and carvings on the piece is truly lovely. There are all types of cleaners for fabric mold.

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July 13, 20200 found this helpful

You are going to get different feedback on this. This is my opinion as a reseller. The chairs have almost no value if you try to sell them as is with mold/mildew. A buyer may offer you a few bucks because it is going to take a lot off work to remediate and reupholster. You can try to do it yourself...clean and kill mold, but you will need to tell the buyer they were cleaned.

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Or you can remove the upholstery and just sell the frames. Be sure to check the wood carefully to make sure it is not damaged. Many people have mold allergies/sensitivity so this may be a challenge. Do the numbers to see what it is worth for you to do something or just cut your losses. Post back how your sale goes!

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July 13, 20200 found this helpful

If you just want to get rid of the chairs and sell them as-is you may get around $4-5 for each chair you have right now. In the current condition not a lot of people want to pay for chairs that have mold on them. Mold is dangerous and needs to be cleaned before the item is brought into a person's home. Also cleaning mold you need to take precautions when doing this one and not breath this in. You may want to get them cleaned professionally before trying to sell them. This would give you a better change to sell them and you could get a higher price for them.

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July 14, 20200 found this helpful

If you are sure this damage is mold and not just dirty then it could be dangerous to have chairs around. If there is dampness in the basement then it is probably filled with mold. I do not see how there could be no damage to the wood if mold is bad (unless you are talking about no damage AFTER you cleaned the wood).

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The next question would be - what brand name are the chairs? If no popular brand name then the value - in any condition - will be lower. Most people are just not very interested in just 'vintage/old furniture that cannot be identified.
These would most likely have to be 'local pick up only' so that means where you live would have a large bearing on the value.
Some areas may be into this type of furniture while other areas would not give them a second glance.
There are many factors to consider when trying to find value of furniture. You cannot usually even use a same exact sold item as reference if it was 'pick up only'.

Now - if this is not mold (no mold in basement?) then this makes all of the following information unnecessary to read.

If this is mold, I would say that your chairs as is should not be in any room where people are staying or working unless they are wearing a safe mask and disposable gloves; especially if chairs are in a closed in area as mold spores will be in the air anytime the chair is touched or moved.

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Be very careful as anyone who was in the area when chairs were moved from the basement has already been exposed to mold spores and should try very hard to not breath any more so please wear a mask as you do not know if or how much 'stuff' is already in your body.

You could contact several reupholsters in your area and show them the pictures and ask what they would charge to do the job.
I think you will decide they are not worth the cost - if you find someone willing to help you.
It is illegal (in parts of Florida) for someone to have any item with mold exposed where the public will be in the immediate area.
I have seen some nice looking chairs (similar to yours) put up for sale at flea markets but they were sealed in thick clear plastic bags/wrap and had a large sign showing 'caution - mold on chairs'.

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I do not know if any of these sold.

I would think you could take all necessary precautions and move the chairs outdoors to remove the upholstery and thoroughly clean the wood, but you would also have to find out how you are supposed to 'trash' the moldy pieces. According to where you live, you could be fined (if caught) if just placed in your garbage.
But no responsible person would want to do that anyway.

No matter what you decide to do about the chairs (after you remove them from your home) someone will have to decide what needs to be cleaned up in every area the chairs have been as spores can even be transported to other areas of your home by the clothes people wear and by the air conditioner (AC) as it will carry the spores to every room in the house.

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Also, what is being done about the basement? This could be a very dangerous area for anyone to even visit and like other areas/items spores can be carried all over the house.

Of course, some people are more susceptible to mold spores then others - children, aged persons, people with any kind of breathing problems.

You might want to read some of the information available online but here is a start: (I'm really hoping this is not mold on the chairs.)

www.floridahealth.gov/.../index.html

www.landlords.org/.../DOH-Mold.pdf

This is long but interesting:

paradigmchange.me/.../

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