Appliances Affected By Flooding
A flood in your property, whether caused by mother nature or a burst pipe, can be devastating to come home to. There are many things you’ll need to do in this disastrous event, but with heavy rainfall causing problems across the UK, we’ve got a guide for homeowners and businesses which details what to do with your appliances in the event of flooding.
What do I do if my appliances are flooded?
The first thing you should do is use extreme caution. Depending on the extent of the flooding, this could be a very dangerous situation, potentially even fatal. If you can do so safely, turn off your electric and gas supply. Only do this if the fuse box has not been made wet – remember that water conducts electricity. This will ensure that you can enter the property to start inspecting and moving your appliances. If you can’t do this, wait for an engineer or the emergency services.
Who do I contact about flood damage to my appliances?
Most homeowners and businesses should have insurance for both building and contents – whether you’re covered for water damage – either from outside flooding or something like a burst pipe – is down to what you selected on your home insurance options.
If you are covered, your insurers should be able to arrange for someone to come out and inspect your appliances. This assessment, along with PAT testing to check if they’re still in good working condition, could take some time, but it is better to allow a professional technician or electrician inspect your appliances than to go poking around yourself.
To guarantee your insurers see the full extent of the damage, take photographs of your appliances and your property. This can be useful as further down the line the water will have drained and things might not seem so bad; it essentially gives you evidence to present to your insurer when it comes to making a claim.
Once a registered electrician has assessed your appliances, you should be able to get an idea of whether they are salvageable, although much will depend on the type of flooding (see the ‘Clean water and sewage section). Sometimes an assessment may take a few days if the appliance has to fully dry out first.
If they are not able to repair the appliance, you will be able to claim for a new appliance, often sourced by the insurance company. Ensure that the make and model of the appliance is in line with the item being replaced. For example, if you have a washing machine with an 8kg capacity, ensure the replacement model has the same capacity and features.
Clean water and sewage
While any kind of water damage is heartbreaking to see, there is a distinct difference in the risk of clear water and sewage. If you are experiencing flooding from an outside source, there is an assumed likelihood that sewage could be part of this. In these circumstances, an electrician may need to rewire your appliance, or they might even suggest that it is beyond repair due to sewage being inside the system (a particular problem for gas ovens).
Clean water on the other hand, might only require a technician or electrician to dry out the cables and make general repairs, either to accessories or sockets.
As with any type of flooding, sewage presents a whole host of hazards and issues, so depending on how high the water has risen, you may end up writing items off. If the flooding is quite low, you may only need a quick assessment of each appliance and socket to establish what work needs to be carried out.
How to stop flood water impacting your appliances
If you know you live in an area at risk from flooding, either because of bodies of water nearby or because of high rainfall in the area, it’s a good idea to have your appliances raised off the floor on short plinths, along with the raising of your sockets. This can help you protect your appliances and electrical circuits on the ground floor if flood water manages to get in your building, although it clearly won’t make too much difference if the flooding is so bad that it puts your entire first floor under water.
Should you be aware of a minimal flood risk to your property, ensure you have sandbags on hand. This will stop the small amounts of water seeping into your building and prevents you having to get your appliances checked.
At Domex, we’re leading specialists in appliance repairs. Whether you’ve experienced a flood due to heavy rainfall, or you’ve simply had a pipe burst in your home, our team can assess your appliances and ensure they are safe to use once more. Contact us today for more details and we can arrange for an engineer visit to your business or home.