5 Common Causes Of Furniture Damage

January 26, 2023

Furniture will naturally experience wear and tear over time with regular use. This cannot be prevented. However, it is possible to prevent certain types of damage that can occur as a result of accidents and poor maintenance. Taking steps against such damage could extend the life of your furniture for many more years. Below are just 5 common causes of furniture damage to be wary of.


Spillages of food, drink and other substances can lead to unwanted stains on your furniture - especially if you don’t clean up these spillages straight away. Materials like delicate fabrics, lighter leather tones and untreated wood are most at risk of stains. Dark leather, synthetic microfiber and glass furniture is generally harder to stain.

You are more likely to experience spillages if you have young kids. Some parents ban kids from eating or drinking on the sofa, as well as banning messy play activities on furniture like painting. However, there are other ways to protect furniture against spillages.

One option is to protect your furniture during spillage-prone activities like eating and messy play. You can protect wooden dining room tables by using a tablecloth. Sofas can meanwhile be protected by adding towels, throws or slipcovers over the top. Using waterproof fabric covers will protect your furniture from spillages - you can then wash the fabric cover after.

Cleaning up spillages immediately after they occur can also help to reduce stains. This can prevent any liquid from soaking in - it could be essential when it comes to liquids like red wine and coffee.


Too much sunlight exposure can cause certain materials to fade. Natural fabrics like cotton, wool and leather are more likely to fade in direct sun than synthetic fabrics. Certain woods can also become noticeably darker or lighter when placed in the sun for long periods.

To prevent UV damage, be wary of placing sensitive materials in areas of your home that regularly receive direct sunlight. Voile curtains or net curtains could help to let in light through windows during the brightest parts of the day while limiting UV rays in order to reduce damage.You can also temporarily cover up furniture to protect it.


Smoking can also damage your furniture. If you smoke while sitting on a sofa, there could be a high risk of accidental cigarette burns. However, the biggest culprit is nicotine within the smoke, which can stain your furniture over time. Such staining is likely to be most noticeable on light fabrics and light woods - turning them a darker yellowish color. 

To prevent your furniture from getting damaged by cigarettes, there is an easy solution: smoke outside. By getting into a habit of smoking outside, you can also stop your home from smelling of smoke and reduce lung damage to non-smokers in your home from second-hand smoke. Of course, quitting smoking is an even better option that will preserve your health and your furniture.

Moving furniture

Furniture can often get damaged while moving it. This could include while moving home or while simply rearranging the layout of a room. Moving furniture increases the risk of getting knocked or dropped, which can lead to cracks and dents appearing.

Hiring a local moving company while moving home could reduce the risk of damage. Moving experts will know how to safely get furniture through doorways or how to store it safely in a vehicle to prevent damage during transit. It’s particularly worthwhile with fragile or bulky furniture.

If you’re likely to move furniture regularly, it could be worth planning ahead when purchasing furniture. Lighter furniture or flat-pack furniture could be easier to move from one property to the next. Putting furniture on castors could also make it easier to move around.

Pet damage

Got cats or dogs? These pets can also cause damage to your furniture if you don’t take precautions. Both cats and dogs can cause damage with their claws, although cats are the biggest culprit. With dogs, chewing may be a bigger problem  - especially puppies.

It’s best to avoid delicate furniture materials when choosing to own pets. Materials like synthetic microfiber will offer more resistance to claws. Of course you can always just use slip-covers to protect against scratches.

Disciplining pets is also important. Make sure to tell pets ‘no’ if they start deliberately scratching or chewing your furniture. Scratching posts and chew toys are good for providing an outlet - it could be a good idea to direct cats or dogs to these toys as soon as they start to scratch or bite your furniture so that they start to associate these items with scratching and chewing.

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