How to disinfect a flood-damaged car

Cleaning a flooded vehicle

Sanitizing and disinfecting a flood-exposed vehicle. (Photo Credits)

A flood damaged vehicle does not only become exposed to engine and auto body damaging elements, it also gets exposed to a lot of germs, bacteria and viruses that could pose a health danger to the driver and his passengers.

So how should a car owner safely disinfect and sanitize his flooded car?

The website Popular Mechanics explained that everything will depend on how deep the car has been submerged in flood waters.

“Don’t wait for the adjuster to arrive. Mold and corrosion are setting in now. You need to clean out as much liquid and mud as you can and dry out your car as soon as possible. Don’t try to start the car. If there’s water in the engine, transmission or fuel system, you’ll just compound the damage. Disconnect the battery ground strap first-you must do this, otherwise you’ll fry something. Next, begin assessing just how deep the water got. Frankly, if the waterline is as high as the dashboard, you will probably be better off talking the adjuster into totaling the car and getting another. Double that for salt water.”

Check out the whole article here.

Restoring flooded cars

Car restoration website Second Chance Garage discussed in its website the intricacies of restoring a flood-damaged vehicle. In their article they mentioned how microorganisms found in flood waters cause damage to the car, and pose health risks to its users.

“This disgusting stuff consists essentially of fungus micro-organisms whose spores thrive in a moist, warm environment to become what we know as “molds.” They derive their food from the substance on which they form. During their growth they produce citric, gluconic, oxalic, or other organic acids that can damage paper, leather, cloth, etc. They also at times produce color bodies that lead to staining. Of greater concern is their ability to create toxins that are potentially harmful to humans. They are, in short, very bad things to have around.”

Read the rest of the write-up here.

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The website meanwhile published a step-by-step guide in dealing with flooding in the car. In their guide, they emphasized how damaging flood inundation is to the car’s body and its engine.

“You may not think that water in your car is such a big deal at first, but flooding can cause the following issues: (1) Electrical connections and wiring can corrode or short; (2) Metal surfaces can rust prematurely; (3) Nuts and bolts can seize; (4) Saturated carpet and upholstery can develop mold, mildew, and odors.”

The whole guide can be found here.

Flood inundation is a serious matter that can damage both the car’s interior, exterior, as well as its engine. It is important that car owners are aware of how to deal with such situations.

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