Harvey Help: What to do about vehicle water damage

After Harvey, plenty of vehicles are still driveable, but damaged so we talked to experts to learn what to do about the water damage warning signs.

In the wake of Harvey, plenty of vehicles are still drivable, but damaged. We talked to the experts at Carriage Glass and Detail in Midtown to learn what to do about the water damage warning signs.

THE SIGNALS

If water got inside your vehicle, your car might be telling you something is wrong. The pros say lights may come on inside the instrument panel.

Look for an airbag warning, an oil change light, or more maybe a flashing brake warning. Those alerts tend to malfunction when there’s water damage to the electrical system.

STRONG ODORS

If you smell something strange and very strong, it can be an early sign of mold or mildew. Do not breath the air inside the vehicle. Get professional help to get rid of the bacteria.

INSIDE CONDENSATION

If you notice condensation inside your car, that’s a red flag that there’s water damage. Have a professional take a look. This could signal problems with your electrical system.

GET THE AIR FLOWING

Fresh air is a natural sanitizer. Open doors, roll down the windows, and get the fans turned on the inside of the car.

DRY EVERYTHING OUT

Mold and mildew are likely to grow quickly in the foam insulation underneath the carpet. It's fairly thick and very absorbent. Even if the carpets feel dry, the padding underneath may be damaged.

SANITIZE FABRICS

Even dry carpet and padding need to be disinfected. Any fabric that had water in it needs to be sterilized before you use it.

CHECK THE ELECTRICAL

Moisture can cause damage to the radio and other electrical systems in the car. Many makes and models have electrical systems running underneath the seats, which can be damaged without you knowing.

If you have questions, it’s best to have a professional takes a look to see if everything is running smoothly. If there is a short to your electrical system, the car might be totaled.

BE PATIENT. IT TAKES TIME.

In a best case scenario, it will take at least two days to get the car cleaned up. In some cases, it may take up to a week. Be prepared to be without your car for a few days while the damage dries.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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