Handling Flood Damaged Electronics and Equipment Mitigation Checklist

ER_Mitigation_Checklist

Storm surge, flash flooding and river flooding is the enemy of any business or home. The toll on electronics and equipment continues even after the water recedes. If energized during the event the affected equipment and machinery may have sustained damage to the circuit breakers, in-line fuses, motors and main fuses which may have “blown and shorted” from the initial onslaught of water infiltration. The second onslaught of damage to electronics is “ongoing and continues” even as the water recedes. Electrical wiring, motors, computers, motor starters, contactors and control cabinets received contaminates from the flood water (ground water and salt water from flooding is very contaminated) this water contains chlorides, sulfides, heavy metals, hydrocarbons and other biological inhibitors and environmental waste chemicals that are unhealthy, toxic and corrosive. As the water recedes the stainless, copper, aluminum and plain steel substrates of micro-circuitry and electrical components which have been covered in contaminated water continue to oxidize from the contaminates in the water as the oxygen hits the contaminated metallic surfaces which increases corrosion exponentially. Painted surfaces can bubble, pop and peel. All metals can corrode resulting in oxidation.

Flash rusting and corrosion enhanced by flooding and drying can be adverted with proper mitigation protocols. Fast action is the key to being able to restore sensitive electronics, equipment and electrical gear. Some items may corrode from the secondary effects of the flooding just by being in non-climate controlled conditions and being exposed to high moisture meaning relative humidity has reached condensing levels or the dew point has been
exceeded meaning these items have been exposed much higher levels of humidity than designed and energizing them without a thorough analysis of the effects of corrosion may result in premature failure.

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