Homeowners fortunate enough to live along the ocean or a salt-water canal may learn the hard way that there are specific tricks associated with salt-water damage. Clean-up and restoration require certain techniques that don’t apply to ordinary spills, whether the ‘ordinary’ be black water, gray water or some other color. United Water Restoration was founded in Florida and we understand the peculiar and corrosive effects of a salt-water spill.
Hurricanes and storm surges deliver a tidal wave of salty or brackish water to those living as far as a quarter-mile inland as well as houses on the beach. Salt reacts with insulation on wires and the wiring itself, as well as with metals such as zinc, iron or steel, and concrete. In fact, just about all materials used to construct your home are vulnerable to damage from salt water. In addition, it conducts an electrical charge which makes it dangerous.
Salt Water v. Fresh: Need Different Methods to Dry Out Flooded Home
Northeasterners know very well what salt can do. In states with heavy winter snows, road crews dump tons of salt to melt the ice and snow. Unfortunately, it also eats away at the body of a car— as well as sidewalks, trees growing along the road, and the foundations of buildings. Wood, too, is affected by delignification when salt water penetrates the fibers and sucks the lignin out of the wood. And finally, there are molds that thrive in a salty environment.
The first thing a homeowner in a salt water flood zone should do is make sure the electricity is shut off. Then call 800-430-5838. At United Water Restoration, we are experts in cleaning up and restoring homes after a salt water disaster.
Sodium ions conduct electricity and can deliver a jolt when you least expect it— from an appliance made of metal, for instance.
The antidote to salt is fresh water, lots of it. However, flushing items such as electrical components calls for specific training. Other salt-infused materials may include:
- Building foundations made of concrete
- Heating, cooling & plumbing equipment
- Carpet, paneling & furniture
- Kitchen appliances
- Drywall, roofing, flooring and other building materials
- Earth beneath the home, as salt creates soil erosion
When the clean-up process is underway, items must be continually monitored for salt content. Mold remediation should begin immediately, with steps to prevent the mold from being re-established.
With salt water clean-up, action should begin as soon as possible after the storm. The longer the salt is allowed to remain, the more damage and the more difficult and expensive the restoration. It’s important to contact professionals with experience in salt-water damage and restoration. Amateurs may unknowingly make the situation worse.
If you live near the coast or another body of salt water, keep our number handy. (800-430-5838). Florida residents can’t predict when the next storm will hit; they just know it will.