Find a Local Service Provider

How to Restore Flood-Damaged Electronics

By Luke Armstrong

For many businesses, electronics play a central role in its operations. If a disaster occurs and ruins your electronics, it not only hinders your business from functioning, but it may also cause you to permanently lose your records. Such records are essential to your business and its function, so it’s important to do what you can to have your electronics repaired after they have been damaged.

If you act quickly enough, it’s possible to save information stored on your electronics, thus allowing your business to be back up and running faster.

When there’s flood damage in your business, your electronics can suffer from various types of damage. It is important to understand the different types of water and the different types of damage when tending to water damage concerning your electronics. In such cases, you should seek professional water damage restoration services. But if you can identify the specific problems, then there are ways you can address them yourself.

Types of Water Damage

The type of water damage will determine whether or not your electronics can be restored.

1. Pure Water

The purest form of water is distilled water, and it is pretty harmless. However, it can still be dangerous to your electronics. This is especially the case when pure water is mixed with substances that are water soluble.

2. Conductive Water

Water’s conductivity increases when it gains ions, minerals, and salts. As such, it serves as a potential risk to electronics and can damage them.

3. Corrosive Water

Corrosive water is water that, when combined with oxygen, causes the metal to break down. The water comes into contact with metal and leads to a chemical reaction that damages it. Because electronics contain a lot of metal, corrosive water is especially harmful to them.

Types of Damage

1. Direct Hit Damage

Electronics don’t need to have been submerged in water to suffer damage. Even just a direct hit ― be it from a splash or a stream of running water ― can cause harm to your electronics. If this happens, then be sure to remove your electronic from the water source immediately to limit damage.

In this instance, commercial restoration and cleaning is in your best interest, but be sure to also give the electronic ample time to dry thoroughly. This method will remove any contaminants by the water and restores the electronic long enough for you to retrieve data.

2. High Humidity Damage

When a room has standing water or significant water damage, there can be spikes in humidity. Even when delicate electronics haven’t come into direct contact with the water source, they can still suffer damage. Some examples of such are computers, fax machines, phones, and printers.

Damage still happens because, given humid conditions, dust can become sludge. This sludge then clings to circuit boards and wiring, damaging the electronics. This damage becomes more likely when there’s flooding or when there’s high humidity from a fire that also caused smoke damage to electronics.

If your electronics have suffered high humidity water damage, then the best action to take is to have professional electronic restoration technicians work on your electronics. These technicians will know just what to do to have your expensive electronics restored to their original condition.

3. Submersion Damage

Submersion happens when the electronic has been submerged in standing water, completely covered by it, for hours or even days. Sometimes the water may contain sediment and silt if it’s not from a clean source. Often times, this damage is found as a result of severe disasters that disallow people to get to a business for an extended time.

For the most part, electronics that have suffered submersion damage don’t bode well for electronic restoration services, because such damage typically affects them internally. In this situation, the best action to take is to replace the electronics and inform your insurance provider about what items have been damaged.

Actions to Take

1. Safety Precautions to Remember

The important thing to remember when it comes to water-damaged electronics is that the combination of water and electricity is dangerous. That said, if you are going to handle water-damaged electronics, you need to be cautious.

Because of the combination of potential harm and lack of expertise, it’s recommended that, unless you have the knowledge, you shouldn’t attempt to make repairs on your own. Rather, if you want your electronics to be restored, go to a professional. Be sure to check your warranty, too, in case you can have it replaced.

2. Turn Electronics Off

Make sure all of your electronics have been turned off to prevent them from short circuiting. If your electronics don’t short circuit, then they have a greater chance at effective restoration. In addition, you limit your potential for injury. Power connectors and batteries need to be removed as well.

3. Allow Electronics to Dry

For small devices, you can remove some water and moisture by gently shaking it or using a soft cloth. You can also dry it by using a hair dryer; however, if you do this method, be sure to use the coolest setting, because heat shouldn’t be used to dry electronics.

For electronics that have submersion damage, the harm is often too severe for drying to be effective.

4. Clean Electronics of Corrosion

If you go about cleaning water-damaged electronics on your own, make sure you clean the corrosion from the components. The longer your electronic was exposed to water, the worse the corrosion will be. To clean the corrosion, use a cleaning solution, such as isopropyl alcohol.

Professional Water Damage Restoration

The professionals of ServiceMaster are available 24/7 to respond to all water damage emergencies.

If your business suffers flood damage, chances are your electronics have been harmed as well. There are actions you can take on your own to clean and restore your flood-damaged electronics, but your best option is to seek professional water damage restoration services. The sooner the damage can be addressed, the greater the chance of restoration. The professionals know what they’re doing and will be efficient in their service.

A highly recommended restoration provider includes ServiceMaster, available 24/7 to fully restore both your electronics and structure. Their technicians are each licensed, trained, and experienced to address all damaged areas, drying out the structure with professional equipment, and cleaning it out with advanced products.

Finally, you will be able to look forward to a fully restored business, returning back to work with complete peace of mind.