Not even a year after Super Storm Sandy ravaged our shores, and less than three months after being rebuilt, the Seaside Boardwalk turned to ruins due to a massive fire caused by faulty wiring conditions brought about by salt water corrosion damage. Sandy’s waters subsided and left behind highly corrosive residue, which over time damaged and deteriorated the components of an electrical system. Although appearing dry and functional on the outside, wiring and electrical equipment is slowly being eaten away by the highly corrosive elements in salt water. In simple terms, if salt water got on, in or around it, it’s already starting to deteriorate.
Drying out the crawl space and replacing the sheetrock below the water line are necessary components of flood remediation in your home or business, however, covering up those wires and receptacles because they “looked dry” may have created a silent and extremely dangerous hazard in your home. This hazard could result in the same devastating consequences that we just witnessed as Sandy took yet another victim.
How does this happen?
One thing Sandy taught us: if there is a way in, water will find it. Sandy’s waters found their way into crawl spaces, basements, low lying first floor dwellings, buildings, low positioned outdoor equipment, outdoor boxes and wiring up and down the Jersey Shore. Once the water comes into contact with any type of metal conductor, it begins to corrode it. If the moisture gets into a wire through a junction point or break in the wire, or if the wire is made of metal or cloth, then the water sits inside the wire or box breaking it down and eventually causing it to disintegrate. This creates arcing and sparking that will catch fire as the electricity tries to flow through the compromised wire. One of the elements making this so dangerous is that it may be happening under your home or business or behind the newly repaired sheetrock walls and you will never see it coming.
The Bad News
The bad news is bad. Post Sandy, tens of thousands of homes and businesses at the Jersey Shore have not remediated their electrical systems properly. Therefore, the same potential for the tragedy of the fire at the Seaside Boardwalk still exists in every single home or business that just turned their power back on and went about their business without replacing or repairing these electrical hazards.
Who is to blame?
No one is to blame. Who could have ever imagined a situation of this magnitude? Homeowners and business operators are not electrical equipment corrosion experts. We have all had our hands full just trying to get our lives back in order. The simple fact is- most people just did not realize how dangerous this situation is.
How about some good news!
The good news is… now you know! It is not too late to take measures to protect yourself. All the knowledge we have acquired in remediating hundreds of homes, plus amazing advances in technology, can ensure the safety of your family and property. Don’t delay- call a qualified, licensed electrical contractor today.
Owner, Mikulka Electric