As we’re sure you’re all aware, Hurricane Harvey struck the southern coast this week with devastating force, leaving thousands of citizens in very deep water. To help aid in these trying times, those of us at Caliber are gathering supplies, loading up a big rig, and heading to Houston, TX to lend a helping hand anywhere we can. And if you can, we encourage you to donate to organizations like the Red Cross; because every dollar makes a tremendous difference. However, in the meantime, there are still some commuters coming to terms with the fact that their car recently became a submarine. So, to help those whose vehicles were blindsided by the floods, we wanted to offer some immediate tips for helping you dry out your interior.
DISCONNECT THE BATTERY
We cannot stress this enough. It’s a known fact that water and electricity do not play well together, so, please be careful, be safe and be sure to remove your battery. Once everything is dried, you can replace it and begin checking for any blown fuses.
START DRYING RIGHT AWAY
It seems obvious, but start airing things out as soon as possible. Open all the doors, trunk, hood and interior compartments. Some people may not have this luxury yet, as their car is still stuck, but the longer you wait, the more you pay. And we wouldn’t want those car repairs to become more expensive than some of the most expensive cars in the world.
DO NOT START THE CAR
Don’t try to start a flooded engine because all it will do is send more water into your system, which could cause extensive damage under the hood. In fact, if you can avoid it altogether, don’t drive a water-damaged vehicle. It’s best to have it towed to its destination and inspected by a qualified technician.
CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
The sooner you can get on the same page with your insurance agent, the sooner they can start helping to get you out of this situation and into a new car. Take pictures of the damage, both before and after, and keep track of any stains or smells that may pop up over time.
REMOVE EVERYTHING WET
Yes, we mean everything. The floor mats, seats, mud and debris, even the carpeting if you can manage – all of it needs to come out, and into a well-ventilated area. This will allow your car to dry much faster because when wet materials are left in the car to dry, the excess moisture only creates a humid environment that could foster bacteria and germs.
RENT A WET VAC
You can rent a Wet Vac at any local hardware store. And trust us: it will make your job much easier. The motor is separate from the actual collection chamber, so none of the materials extracted–wet or dry–pass through an electrical component, allowing you to remove up to 10 gallons of liquid and debris.
We hope you found these tips helpful, although we understand that, for most of the Houston area, airing out the car is not at the top of the to-do list. Like you, our main concern is everybody’s safety, and getting people to secure and dry shelters. Like we said, we’ll be heading down south soon to help out because, for us, restoring the rhythm of your life means more than just fixing cars. It means fixing lives.