What should you do if your electronics are involved in a flood?

With hurricane Irma hitting our local area we are going to let you know what to do with water damaged electronics. Water damaged electronics can happen from flooding, being rained on, or humidity damage. This post should help you decide whether to restore or replace your household or business electronics.

Types of water damage

When hurricanes, tornadoes, or a major weather events strike your electronics often fall victim. We categorize water damage after a storm into one of the three categories.

  • Undamaged
  • High Humidity
  • Rain or Spash
  • Submersion

Undamaged

These are electronics that were kept out of the storm or weather event, no matter if they were kept in an unaffected floor or room. They have no visible water damage, but should still be checked out by a professional to ensure they are not subject to high humidity water damage.

If the storm was electrical in nature, these devices could have lightning damage.

If everything checks out with these electronics, we would not recommend replacing them.

High Humidity

With the humidity we are already accustomed to in Georgia we don’t think about this being a problem. With air conditioning out due to a power outage, you could have a problem with humidity damaged electronics. Especially with the additional moisture being brought in with a hurricane.

The problem with humidity damage is actually the dust in your computer. While nearly every computer has dust build-ups, the dust sits neatly on the boards and doesn’t cause problems in most instances. When the humidity condenses on the dust, it will cause circuits to connect in the wrong places and could cause boards to damaged.

If the devices are powered off when this occurs you could be in luck. With proper cleaning of the boards your electronics can be restored to working condition.

Rain or Spash

These are electronics that were rained on directly or had water splashed on them. Like with humidity damage as long as these devices were powered off they could still work, but would need to be restored with a proper cleaning.

The primary concern with these electronics is to make sure that any water or moisture is properly dried. The boards should also be cleaned of dust and all minerals or contaminants from the rain or splash water.

The faster these electronics are restored the better. If moisture, dust, contaminants, or minerals are left on the circuit boards can cause corrosion. Corrosion can be stopped, but not reversed.

Submersion

When electronics are completely submersed in flood waters, usually the best course of action is to replace that electronic device. Unless the electronic is a high end device, it is generally cheaper to replace it than to clean or replace components in the device.

If the device is a computer, tablet, cell phone, or similar device you might be able to have the data recovered from it.

You should not simply throw these electronics into the dumpster or landfill. They can damage the environment, or if they have your personal information on them you could become a victim of a identity theft. We offer electronics recycling services and will destroy the data on these devices before recycling them.

Depending on the type of damage there are a couple of options.

What should I do with water damaged devices?

Devices with minimal water damage

If you device has minimal damage such as humidity, rain or splash damage speed is of utmost importance. The faster you have your devices restored the better. You can stop corrosion, but your cannot reverse it. If you have water damaged electronics that fit into this category, call us now and let’s get the process started.

Complete loss devices

With devices that were powered on when they were exposed to water, or were completely submerged, it is time to replace and recycle those electronics with an electronics recycling company. At MindFire, we accept electronics for recycling and will make sure that they are not placed into landfills where they can damage our environment.

What shouldn’t I do with water damaged electronics

  • Don’t attempt to turn on those water damaged electronics. If there was a chance that they were able to be restored, you will reduce it further.
  • Don’t attempt to dry them out using an microwave or conventional oven. You will most likely damage them further.
  • Don’t open them up and try to dry them out. You are likely to damage the internal components doing this.