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Hidden Dangers After Flood: Check Your Fireplace and HVAC

Damage from rainwater and flooding post-natural disaster can mean wrecked siding, soaked drywall, and carpets made of mud. But less obvious damage may lurk inside your home in fireplaces, furnaces, and appliances.

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The Chimney Safety Institute of America has some smart advice for heading off potentially dangerous post-flood damage:

  • Replace gas fireplace logs. Water and small bits of debris can clog valves, and metal parts may rapidly deteriorate after exposure to water, causing gas leaks.
  • Replace fireplace fans and wiring. Electrical connections and water just don’t mix. Don’t take the chance; before you flip the switch, get new parts.
  • Have appliances and heaters professionally inspected. Get a furnace pro or heating-and-cooling specialist to check your heating system and water heater for damage to fans, wiring, gas connections, and burner units.
  • Check the chimney. Call in a certified chimney sweep to do a thorough chimney inspection of your fireplace box and chimney for damage to masonry, mortar, and flue components.

Been through a flood? Got some hard-earned tips about flood cleanup and safety? Let’s hear them!

John_Riha John Riha

has written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Follow John on Google+.

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