Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States. In fact, all 50 states have experienced some type of flood in the past five years. There are many causes of floods, but regardless of the cause, they can be devastating.
Unfortunately, floods can cause quite a bit of damage in a short amount of time. While most people want to get things back to normal as quickly as possible after a flood occurs, there are some potential safety hazards lurking in their home.
One is their appliances. In most cases, people leave their home during a flood without thinking to unplug appliances, which can lead to damaged appliances. It’s important to take a few safety precautions before doing anything with these electrical devices. Keep reading to ensure you remain safe.
1. Never Go into a Flood-Damaged Basement or Basement Full of Water
It may be tempting for you to venture into the basement as soon as you get home to survey the damage. However, this is a huge risk.
You should avoid venturing down there until a licensed electrician, the fire department or the utility company has removed the electrical meter from its socket.
Because – removing the meter out of the socket is the only way that a house can be totally disconnected from the grid. Even if you lose power, you may still be electrocuted in a flooded basement if someone is running a generator nearby.
2. Don’t Turn the HVAC System On
If you attempt to turn on your heating or cooling equipment it may begin to spread mold through your ductwork and your home.
If there is still water in or around the system, it can also cause further damage or even an electrocution. It’s best to have a professional HVAC technician inspect the unit before turning it on. Once it has been classified as safe, you can run the system to remove any excess moisture in your home.
3. Be Aware of the Possibility of Mold in Your Freezer and Refrigerator
If your freezer or refrigerator is still on when you arrive home, it’s a good initial sign. However, this doesn’t mean that this appliance is in the clear.
Insulation that has gotten wet is going to dry pretty slowly after the appliance is plugged in, which makes it susceptible to mold growth.
If the water is just a few a few inches high in your kitchen, and the condenser and compressor in your unit are sealed, it may be fine. However, be sure to inspect it closely over a few days to ensure there is no mold or mildew in the unit.
Dealing with Damaged Appliances: Proceed with Caution
If you have experienced a flood, then there’s a good chance there are at least a few damaged appliances in your home. Be sure to use the tips here if you are in this situation.
If you need help cleaning up after a flood, be sure to contact us. We have 24-hour response services.