The South Central, Midwest, and the Northeast have seen record rainfall in the last month and, especially, the last couple of days. Rivers are over flood stage. Sewer systems could not keep up with all the rain and sewers backed up into basements. Water also entered many basements from windows and doors and some people had water up to the first floor of their homes and some even higher.
Now, as the clean up begins, the damage created by the storms and the flooding, once again brings attention to the safety hazards involved with flood damaged HVAC equipment.
Submerged HVAC equipment typically is damaged beyond what would be considered cost-effective repair. Fully submerged equipment requires replacement of all open exposed electrical controls and motors. Likewise, gas piping, controls and burner systems require a combination of component part replacement and cleaning to assure proper, safe operation. Flood damaged equipment is NOT covered by any manufacturer’s warranty.
In addition, submerged air handling or duct systems are subjected to the potential biological hazards caused by contaminated flood water and sewer back-up getting into the system. This can also get into the unit insulation of the furnace or air handler as well as the duct work and can create molds and other problems.
It is strongly recommended that complete equipment change-out coupled with a thorough duct system replacement or cleaning is likely the action required to restore safe, reliable HVAC system operation.
It is also strongly recommended that all flood damaged HVAC systems remain offline until properly inspected and dispositioned by a skilled HVAC professional.
We all hope that we are never in this position but, when it does happen, it is always best to“do it right the first time” and avoid a possible second disaster because we tried to shortcut the initial repair.