Flood Information


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Let Professionals Restore Flood-damaged Heating Systems

A professional should inspect, clean and recondition any heating system exposed to flooding before you use it.

“Floodwaters may have damaged heating equipment or chimneys,” says [insert name and title] of [insert county name].

Ask the professional whether you can do anything before he or she arrives. What the service person likely will have you do is turn off fuel and power to flooded heating systems and remove mud or debris from the heating system.

If a gas or oil furnace was flooded to the level of the burners, turn off the valve on the pipe leading to it. If your system also has an electrical switch for blowers, turn it off as well if any furnace parts were flooded. Check your owners manual if you need help in locating the valve or switch.

Natural gas furnaces may have a valve to the pilot gas line and a main fuel valve. Turn off both valves.

If you smell natural gas, leave your home and contact your utility company or a service person. Do not use open flames in this area.

For flooded electrical heating systems, shut off the main power switch at the meter or remove the fuse to the furnace. Make sure you stand on a dry board and wear rubber gloves or use a dry stick to pull the handles. Clean mud and debris from electric baseboard heating fixtures, being careful not to damage heating equipment.

If you have a hot-water heating system, clean the fins on baseboard radiators and clean wall radiators.

Remove dirt and debris from your chimney and check it for leaks, cracks and missing mortar in the joints between bricks. If the chimney looks as though it has settled or tilted, examine the footing to see whether floodwaters undermined it.

“Leave things such as inspection of oil storage tanks, repairing chimneys and cleaning of motors, blowers and other parts to the professional,” [insert last name] says.

For more information, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/flood or www.extension.org/Floods.

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