July 15, 2020

My basement flooded – is my furnace ok?

Flooding in CT, no matter what time of year, is just inevitable for some homeowners. Not only can it be a huge, expensive mess to clean up, but a flooded basement can be very overwhelming to deal with and cause some serious dangers.

If your basement has taken on water, here are three things you should do:

  1. Turn off the power to your basement before you even go down there. If the breaker is in your basement, you should still turn off the breaker if it is safe to do so. If you don’t feel safe, then call an electrician for help.
  2. Start pumping out and mopping up the water. You’ll need to wash and sanitize everything, however, some things may not be salvageable, like carpet. Remove everything you can from the basement to dry either outside or in another part of the house.
  3. Lastly, access your appliances: furnaces, water heaters, washer, dryer, spare refrigerators, etc. Items with pilots should not be re-lit without a licensed service tech inspecting them first.

One of the most expensive items that could suffer damage from a flooded basement is your furnace/boiler. They often sit directly on your basement’s foundation – unprotected. Restoring your furnaces to working order could be as simple as a thorough cleaning, but you won’t know without an inspection.

You can access the exterior components first. Condensing units are pretty sturdy and can withstand some water, but if the water rose too high, there is the potential for real damage. To determine how high the water reached, look for a water line. If the water rose only a few inches, the unit may be salvageable upon inspection. If the water rose higher than halfway, damage could have occurred to the electrical components and other working elements within.

If my furnace still works, why shouldn’t I just use it?

If your basement has flooded, you should not use your furnace without an inspection first, regardless if it continues to work. Bacteria and mold could grow within if not properly cleaned. Additionally, some of the safeguards that make sure your unit is functioning properly could have been damaged and now you are at risk of a fire or Carbon Monoxide exposure.

Safety should always be your priority after a flood. Making sure your basement is dry and clean is important so that mold and bacteria don’t grow. Excess moisture could also cause additional damage to your appliances including your furnace.

If your basement is prone to flooding, you may need to consider moving your furnace to an upper level of the home. A more cost-effective alternative could be creating a concrete or masonry floodwall in your basement to help protect the unit.

If you’ve experienced a flood in your home and need your furnace inspected, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *