It’s heartbreaking when a home floods from storm surge. The damage done is extraordinary. Most people want to re-enter a home as soon as they can to access the damage and remove whatever things that they can salvage by drying them out.
● Exercise Extreme Caution
If power lines are down, passing through the streets is dangerous. There is also the risk of serious electrical shocks from entering a home, even if the power is turned off. One surprising risk is that a neighbor’s use of portable power generators can cause electricity flow back down the electrical grid that creates an electrical shock hazard in another nearby home.
● Call the Insurance Company, Then Call an Electrician
If your home has insurance for storm surge damage, after everyone is out of harm’s way, the first call should be to your insurance agent. The second call should be to your electrician at Harrison Electric Inc. Let the electrician make sure your home is safe to enter. Also, the electrician will help with a quote you need for your insurance agent.
● When in Doubt, Throw it Out
Almost everything that is electronic will probably need to be replaced. Most insurance adjusters who calculate the claim amount will assume nothing will ever work again.
As an alternative, if there is no insurance coverage, you can let the item completely dry out for about a month. Then, wearing thick rubber insulated gloves, carefully plug something in to see if it still works. Don’t be surprised if it pops and blows out from an electrical short.
Do this test at your own risk. If the equipment sparks, remove the plug from the outlet immediately. It is safer to take any damaged electronic equipment to a service center to have them check it for you.
● Electrical Wiring Probably Needs Replacement
Any wiring below the waterline, exposed to storm surge water, will likely need to be replaced. Storm surge water may have many contaminants, such as chemicals, gasoline from autos, and other hazardous liquids that may ultimately cause electrical wiring to corrode and then possibly fail.
● Safety Check
After replacing everything, your electrical contractor should do a thorough safety check. Things that a qualified electrician looks for are whether there are proper voltage and amperage levels at various points of the electrical system and if the circuit breakers hold.
After checking the electrical system and everything is working properly, then it will be safe to bring things back into the home and plug them in again.
Call Harrison Electric Inc. serving Plymouth, Minneapolis, and the surrounding areas in Minnesota to get a quote for storm surge repairs and any other electrical problems that need repair.