Computers and water simply do not mix well, as evidenced by the ruined equipment seen by Dry Force. Getting a computer wet can completely ruin it, costing you significant money to replace it. While you might be able to recover the files on the computer’s hard drive, it will cost you even more money to pay for a computer service shop for its services. You then must reinstall everything you had on your old computer on the new one, which can take hours.
You can save yourself the heartache, expenses and grief of dealing with water damaged home computers by taking a few simple precautions.
Six Effective Strategies Recommended By Dry Force
- Keep your computers up high. This is especially important if you have your computer in a basement or on the main level of your house if you don't have a basement. Keeping your computer just a few inches from the floor means any flood waters will reach your computer quickly. Instead, place your computer on top of your desk or a table, keeping it at least a few feet from the floor.
- Know where the pipes sit. As the experts at Dry Force are fond of saying, pipes are either leaking or they will leak. Placing your computer directly below one of the pipes in your house increases the risk of water leaking through the ceiling and onto the computer. Climb up into your attic to locate the positions of the pipes, or cut small holes into your ceiling to have a look around.
- Turn off your water. If you are planning on being gone from your house for overnight or even longer, play it safe and turn off all the water to your house by closing the main shutoff valve. Drain the water from the pipes by turning on one faucet on the lowest level of your house, letting the water run out completely before turning the faucet off again. You do not want to risk the damage that can occur with flooding your home.
- Close shutoff valves to plumbing fixtures. If it is summertime and you cannot shut off all the water to your house because you still need to run your automatic sprinkler system, and then Dry Force recommends that you shut off the water to the individual plumbing fixtures. Toilets typically have shutoff valves on the wall behind them. Other fixtures have shutoff valves accessible from the basement or a panel in the wall behind them.
- Check your gutters. Dry Force has seen that most people neglect to check out their rain gutters to see if they are functioning properly. The fact is that improperly functioning rain gutters can lead to roof leaks or water intrusion through basement walls. Run a garden hose in your gutters to ensure the water flows through them and out the downspout freely. The downspouts should all have extensions that lead the water at least ten feet away from the house’s foundation.
- Test your sump pump regularly. If you have computers in your basement and you live in an area that gets significant rainfall, a sump pump is one of your most important lines of defense against flooding. Every two to three months you should remove the cover from your sump’s pit and pour a bucket of water inside. Watch the water careful to check that the pump ejects it from the house properly.
While serious flooding requires qualified professional help from companies like Dry Force, homeowners may be able to tackle less extensive water damage themselves.
Three Main Steps To Repair Water Damage
- The first stage is drainage or extraction of the flood water. If there's not too much water left, you might be able to do this with an ordinary wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner. If there's a lot of water, it might be necessary to use gas-powered submersible pumps. Don't use electrical pumps if there's any chance they might end up immersed in water. Make sure the water you pump out can drain away safely and won't cause further flooding. You'll need to check that the pump filters regularly to ensure that they don't become clogged or damaged.
- The second stage is to dry out the flooded area. For this, you can use fans, space heaters and dehumidifiers. High-velocity fans will dry things faster. Take furniture, carpets and other moveable items out of the flooded area to dry separately. Open all the doors and windows, including inner doors, cabinets and closets, to ensure the best possible ventilation. It will normally take between 24 and 48 hours to dry everything out. Move the equipment every five hours or so to maximize air circulation.
- The third stage is restoration. If any furniture or carpets were exposed to water for more than 24 hours, they're unlikely to be worth saving. Discard these and replace them. You may also need to take out any drywall that was wet for more than 24 hours, as it's probably growing mold. Cut the drywall from six inches above the water's highest level and replace it.
Even after you've dried everything out, you may still be facing problems with mold and mildew. The wisest course of action is always to speak to a specialist like Dry Force about further water damage restoration and mold removal.