Water and electricity form a perilous blend that presents a fire hazard. When water comes into contact with an electrical system, several scenarios can occur, each potentially leading to an electrical fire. Let’s delve into these factors in detail.
How Does Moisture Contribute to Electrical Fires?
First, moisture promotes rust and corrosion in electrical circuits. The corrosion presents resistance to the electrical flow, generating excessive heat in the system. This intense heat could unexpectedly ignite a fire, resulting in significant damage.
In many cases, your home’s electrical system runs through narrow, infrequently inspected spaces such as deep within your walls, beneath the floor, or high on the roof. During storm floods, water could infiltrate this system, making regular inspections of your home’s electrical system crucial.
Second, moisture can instigate short circuits by damaging the insulation around wires. A short circuit is an unintentional current diversion due to contact between electrical wires or other conductors. Short circuits can produce sparks that ignite fires, damage connected appliances, and pose a risk of electrical shocks. Therefore, the presence of water in your electrical system inherently increases the risk of fire.
Given these risks, properties exposed to water for extended periods should be routinely inspected for electrical system damage. Severe water damage might necessitate a total revamp of the electrical system, on top of other renovations. In extreme instances, a home may need to be entirely rebuilt from the inside out, with a complete replacement of the electrical system to ensure occupant safety.
What Steps Can You Take If You Suspect Water Damage?
If you suspect water damage might have compromised your property’s electrical system, the first step is to completely switch off the power from the main control panel. Each home has a trip switch that either automatically disconnects power when a fault in the electrical system is detected or can be manually tripped if necessary.
If you are unsure of the location of the switch, contact a professional electrician immediately. Suppose substantial residual water remains on your property like having a flooded basement, in that case, it is recommended to stay away until a technician arrives and completely disables the power to prevent electrocution.
Once the power is completely off, contact your contractor to assess the extent of the damage and the associated risks. At Top to Bottom Renovation, our technicians will guide you through the assessment and advise you on the best renovation steps to prevent an electrical fire. It is particularly important to have a qualified electrician inspect your electrical system for severe risks after a flood.
Why Is Immediate Action Important?
Many property owners hesitate due to the costs associated with rectifying water damage. However, failing to act promptly puts the property and its occupants at risk. Delaying the inspection and repair of water damage risks not only fire but also substantial damage to your floors, walls, ceiling, and plumbing systems.
Do not hesitate to contact us at Top to Bottom Renovation for a water damage inspection. Safety is critical to stay safe from the devastating potential of fires.