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Understanding the electrical dangers of a flooded basement

Child Splashing in a Puddle with Red Boots

As we've discussed before on this blog, spring brings with it a few weeks of abnormally wet weather here in the Mid-Atlantic, which is evidenced by the current storms that are barreling down on the region. Basements throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. are regularly flooded as a result, potentially costing homeowners thousands of dollars in damage if they didn't prepare accordingly.

While most residents know the importance of having a sump pump to keep the water out, there are other precautions that residents need to take to avoid catastrophe when their basements begin flooding.

Many older homes often feature electrical systems that are outdated and not up to current safety codes. One particularly sensitive kind of wiring is the "knob and tube" design, which leaves a complete grid of crisscrossing wires exposed along the ceiling of the basement. Its been decades since this kind of layout was considered acceptable in residential structures, and homes that have them are more than likely dealing with wires that have seen much better days.

During extreme weather conditions, any number of events could result in a deficiency in the system that may either spark a fire or down a wire in homes that feature knob and tube layouts. If the wires in the basement either fall or are damaged in the event of a flood, they have the potential to expose electrical currents to a growing pool of water. This is an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal safety hazard for homeowners to contend with.

Have an experienced Fairfax, Virginia electrical service inspect your basement before the next big spring storm puts members of your household in harm's way,