If you get advance warning about potential floodwaters near your home, take the opportunity prepare. Turn off utilities, such as your gas or electric service, as soon as you can. This step will lessen the risk of shock, electrocution, or a possible house fire.
When it’s time to get your utilities up and running after you’ve had water damage, it’s important to make sure your electrical wiring, appliances, and the house itself are in safe condition first. Use these tips to restore utilities after a flood.
Safety First When Returning to Flooded Home
Once you have been given the go ahead to return to your home, you’ll need to check to see if there is still standing water. Remove the water from your home or hire a professional to do it for you.
Also, be alert for possible gas leaks that may have occurred from pipes being damaged. Don’t use any open flames or attempt to use any electricity. This will help you avoid any sparks that could ignite escaped gas.
If you suspect you have a gas leak, call your gas company or fire department immediately. You will need to have a professional make needed repairs on your gas pipes before you can have your gas service restored.
Turn off the gas valve to each gas appliance, such as your stove, water heater, or furnace if the floodwater was able to reach them. These appliances should be inspected to make sure cracks or other damage has not occurred. Once you’re sure that there are no gas leaks, your gas service can be turned back on.
Water and Electricity Do Not Mix
If your power panel is located in a flooded area, you should contact your electric supplier to have them turn off power from the line or your meter before entering your home. If the circuit box got wet, you’ll need to have an electrician inspect it and make repairs before you restore power.
It’s also recommended that you unplug any appliances that have been exposed to moisture. Make sure they’re dry, and inspect them for rust or other water damage before using them again. Using appliances with corroded electrical parts could cause a fire or present a shock hazard.
Cleaning Up After Unexpected Floods
Unfortunately, storms can be unpredictable so you don’t always have advance warning that your home will be flooded. A sudden storm or flash flood could cause dangerous conditions regardless of the forecast.
You may not have the chance to turn off your utilities before the flooding begins. Whether or not you have the chance to turn off utilities, be cautious after a flood. Before you can restore your utilities, your electrical system and appliances should always be inspected.
To ensure your and your family’s safety, it is always a good idea to consult with a professional who is experienced with water damage restoration. They can advise you on the best ways to clean up and restore utilities after water damage.