It won’t come as a big surprise to learn that fire and water damage to electronics can be fatal to them. However, you might be able to mitigate the damage.
What should you do if you think your electronics have been damaged by fire or water?
Stop right there.
What everyone wants to do first is turn them on to see if they’re OK. But this knee-jerk reaction can do more harm than good. It can cause them to short out, meaning you’ll need to pay for replacement parts.
Turning on damp or fire damaged electronics can also cause an electrical fire.
What to do if your electronics get damaged by water
Water damage to electronics is a toughie. Get it out, get it dry and get it seen to by an electronics specialist.
If it was just an outside splash, dry off everything you can see with a dry cloth. Then you can try putting your electronics in rice to absorb some of the water. Don’t have rice? Do you have cat litter? That works the same.
But be warned, this isn’t a guaranteed fix because it just reaches the moisture close to the device’s surface.
How do you fix water damaged electronics?
Can you fix a water damaged circuit board? Sometimes. It’s a race against time from the first hit. Obviously the sooner you get onto it the better, because long term water will make it start to corrode.
If your electronic device wasn’t in use when the water came, that’s a good start. Make sure you dry it out fully before getting it seen to by professionals.
Can you save water damaged electronics?
If it was just a splash, a spray, or humidity, then again, sometimes. Just make sure your electronics are totally dried out before having them tested.
If your electronics were underwater and the internal circuitry got wet, then unfortunately it’s probably time for a replacement.
Mold damage to electronics
If water gets into electronics, it’s important to dry them out as soon as possible so you don’t get mold damage.
Mold loves warm, stuffy environments after all, and there are lots of nooks and crannies inside electronic devices that you can’t see.
And obviously, having mold damage inside will totally ruin your electronics.
What to do if your electronics get damaged by fire
Fire damage to electronics can also come in the form of soot or ash. If it’s safe to do so, unplug everything and remove any batteries. This can help minimize internal corrosion.
What can you salvage? Sometimes you can save SIM cards or memory cards so at least your data is safe.
How do you clean electronics after a fire?
The first thing to do in the case of fire damage is disconnect anything that’s connected to the mains. Or simply make sure it’s switched off.
Then wipe it all with a cloth. Soot on the outside is fairly easy to get off like this.
Now you can assess the fire damage better and decide whether it’s best to persevere, or toss it. Is there damage, like warping, you hadn’t seen before? Is there soot or ash inside?
How to clean soot off electronics
If you can look inside your electronics safely, check out whether there is any soot inside. If so, it’s best left to a specialist, or simply disposed of.
Soot inside electronics is a problem.
Say you have smoke damage to a TV. Because soot is acidic it can cause your electronics to disintegrate from the inside. So check all the ports and vents and get any internal damage seen to.
Heat damage to electronics
As you’ll already know, computers and cellphones really don’t like being too warm. So after a fire, heat damaged processors or batteries can be fatal for them.
Another point, don’t accidentally cause heat damage while you’re trying to clean up. How?
Some people try to use a hairdryer to try to blow ash or soot out of electronics. But this is really bad. Targeted hot air can be the final straw for electronics already suffering damage.
We always recommend taking it to a specialist, but if you want to do it yourself, it’s best to use a gentle hand-held vacuum cleaner.
Insurance for fire and water damage to electronics
Check your policy. It may be better to make a claim rather than risk using damaged electronics that could cause a fire, or have a reduced lifespan.
Every insurance policy is different so the first thing to do is see what’s covered. Take photos of your electronics from all angles, too.
Then let the insurance adjuster see the damage before tossing anything you can’t save.
Water damage to electronics and insurance claims
Water damage is the most common home insurance claim you can make.
And you should consider this if you’re on the fence about whether you should make a water damage claim.
Dirty water is potentially much more hazardous than clean water damage from, say, a washing machine. This is because dirty water can be corrosive. So the damage from dirty water often gets worse over time.
Fire, smoke, soot damage to electronics and insurance claims
Fire and smoke damage is covered in nearly all homeowners insurance policies. And here’s some good news. You can claim even if you have smoke or soot damage from a fire at your neighbor’s home.
Your home deserves the best fire damage restoration or water damage restoration service around
Have mold damage, smoke, or soot damage too? No problem. We finish with complete odor removal so getting back into your home will be a pleasure.
Our 24/7 emergency services mean you can call right now at (562) 246-9908 or get in touch by email.