Whether caused by natural or artificial disasters, flooding damages hundreds of thousands of homes and costs millions in repairs. These incidents are becoming more common in Queensland, as we have witnessed over the past decade. For homeowners in flood zones who’ve already removed mouldy carpets, plasterboard and damaged furniture, there is one more important thing to do: remove electrical wiring before rebuilding. Ideally, this should be done as part of an inspection before rebuilding begins.
Owners returning home to find their house flooded should hire an electrician when it comes time to make any electrical repairs. They should also be prepared for the decisions they have to make, outlined in the points below:
Turn Off Your Electrical and Water Supplies
First things first—turn off your circuit breaker and water flow before proceeding with any sort of repairs or inspections. You want to prevent any more accidents from happening through a conductor (water) and an ignitor (electricity).
Err on the Side of Caution
It’s essential to call for help after a flood. Although you might be tempted to clean up the mess yourself, it’s dangerous to reenter a flooded home without professional assistance.
Electricity and water are a deadly combination. If your home is flooded, you may be at risk of electrocution if nearby homes use generators as emergency power. To be safe, an electrician may need to disconnect your electricity meter.
If your home has been flooded, remember that electricity and water don’t mix. Only use electricians who are licensed and have experience fixing electrical problems in homes that have been attacked. Don’t mix replacing the plasterboard with electrical repairs because doing so could cause a shock hazard.
Restart with Fresh Wiring
You will probably have to replace all electrical components and devices below the waterline if your home flooded recently. The corrosion caused by the flooding makes salvage more of a risk than if the damage was caused by rainwater. Chemicals, fluids, and runoff from the storm may leave behind residue that’s just as corroding as the floodwater.
If you want to salvage some electrical wiring lines, sorting out what needs to be repaired, what can be recovered, and what needs disposing of requires a trained electrician. Before the repairs start, an electrician should conduct a complete electrical survey to identify the scope of the necessary work. After the repairs are completed, another electrician should confirm that the home is functional and safe.
Throw Away Submerged Appliances and Electronic Devices
Appliances and electronics that take on water—even an inch or two—may need to be replaced due to the damage the wet materials will suffer. Anything with insulation below the waterline is likely unsalvageable because there is no way to replace damp insulation. However, appliances and electronics with motors may only be damaged if the water level is high enough to reach those central components, but they may be saved if that was not the case.
If you think an appliance or device may be salvageable, remove it from your home and allow it to dry in an open-air, secure area for a few days. Most importantly, have it inspected and repaired by a licensed appliance repair professional before plugging it in.
A thorough safety check is crucial after any water damage. Have it done by an electrician who is licensed to work with electricity.
Never solve electrical problems yourself, especially after a natural or artificial disaster comes barreling through your neighbourhood. Remember these tips and immediately contact an electrician to help your family out. You’ll likely lessen your costs and find out what items you can save, repair, or throw away.
Contact Blue Electrical for a licensed electrician in Morayfield the next time you need assistance. We offer professional electrical installs, maintenance and repairs for both indoors and outside your home 24/7! Request a booking now on 0423 627 680.