Unfortunately, not every water-damaged item can be cleaned then used again. Part of flood damage cleanup actually is removing items that can no longer be salvaged or used again from your home. |
The first question that might strike is what exactly the materials you should dispose and what you should keep.
If your refrigerator and freezers got submerged in floodwater, you have to get rid of them and buy new units. Refrigerators and freezers are built with insulation that could get wet when the units are partially or fully submerged in water. The only way to reach this insulation is to destroy the cabinet of the refrigerator or freezer.
You can bring television, hard disks, electric motors, and other electronic devices to professional restoration services or to an electrician to check if they can still be used or not. Remember, never attempt to use electronic device without having it cleared for use first by an electrician. Before flood damage cleanup, make sure all appliances have been unplugged or the main breaker in your home has been switched off.
Space heaters, furnaces powered by natural gas, and boilers are built with controls and gas valves that can readily get damaged by water. Rusting starts in the interior of the controls and valves. Thus, the damage is hidden. The outside surface may look clean and dry after flood damage cleanup. However, with the corrosion inside the units remaining unfixed, fire or explosion may ensue. If you suspect that your heater, boiler, or furnace got in contact with floodwater, call a professional to check if it is still safe for use. If it has been saturated with water, you can still salvage the unit but you need to replace the controls, burner orifices, gas valves, and filter with new ones. Leave the task to a professional.
Propane-powered heating devices should also be dealt with in the same manner as natural gas-powered heating systems. Other than replacing controls and gas valves, however, you should also pay attention to the gas pressure regulator of propane systems. The regulator is built with a small vent used to detect changes in outside pressure. During flooding, debris and water may infiltrate the hole. If this happens, there's the danger of the device malfunctioning or corroding. No amount of cleaning can save a debris-plugged regulator vent. The only way to avoid future problems is to have the regulator replaced.
If you have a well, disinfect water by adding about 1 1/2 quarts of unscented bleach to 100 feet of water (in a 6-inch diameter well) or 150 galloons of water. Increase or decrease the amount of bleach in proportion to the amount of water on the well.
While flood damage cleanup can help restore most of your home to its pre-flood state, it is unavoidable to completely lose some water-drenched household materials. Learn what items you need to dispose and what needs to be repaired in order to avoid severe consequences such as electrocution, explosion, and fire..
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