Every spring as the winter snows thaw and spring rains begin, there are numerous reports of home flooding especially in the flood plains of the Midwest. People who live in these areas can see a wall of water several feet deep come pouring through doors and window leaving a muddy mess. Cleanup can take weeks.
While these flooding stories make the nightly news, there are more flooding occurrences that happen that don’t make headlines. This flooding is a result of minor maintenance mistakes including frayed water hoses, faulty toilet valves, leaking water heaters, broken supply hoses and corroded pipes. Water damage from these problems and well as the major flooding cause $11 billion in insurance claims annually.
According to Safeco Insurance, the average cost of home water damage is $5,000. Of the claims, flooding falls into the three categories of appliance failure at 30 percent, faulty plumbing systems at 62 percent and weather at 8 percent.
Calling the Electrician
When water damage that resulted from flooding occurs, one person who should be contacted immediately is an electrician. As we all know, water and electricity are not a good combination. In fact, they can create dangerous situations in a home so a qualified electrician should be called to do a full inspection of all electrical facets.
Things The Homeowner Can Do
After the flood, the main electrical switch should be disconnected. All circuit breakers should be turned off and the fuses should also be removed. Unplugging the appliances that have been sitting in flood water is a good idea too. Your home will need to start drying out so all the windows and doors should be left open.
The Electrician's Job
When the electrician arrives, he can clean the electrical box and inspect it. Any broken fixtures or exposed wiring should be noted. All outlets, receptacles, fuse and breaker boxes need to be examined. Certain items such as smoke detectors and thermostats will need to be changed if water has infiltrated them. The wiring that goes into switches and outlets should also be checked for damage. Electrical shorts could be a problem that needs to be determined as well as grounding of all circuits.
When the electrician has completed his analysis, there are other home devices that need checking if water has come into contact with them. The service technicians who can inspect water heaters, heat pumps, furnaces, water softeners and appliances should make a home visit to determine if these things are in working order.
Hopefully, the homeowner has some type of flood insurance to assist in the costs because the repairs can be expensive.