With Hurricane Florence quickly approaching the Carolinas, there are a few things to be aware of with regards to protecting yourself as well as your hardwood flooring equipment. The following are some precautions for hardwood floor contractors to follow any time there’s excessive flooding or severe weather in your area.
Remember that your number one priority is to keep yourself and your crew safe at all times.
Wet hardwood floor equipment safety precautions
- One major threat is water penetrating the electrical panels in the house––if you open a panel and you see moisture, leave it alone. Do not plug your equipment into it. You will have to be careful of this even after the storm passes because moisture can hang around for weeks or even months after a severe storm has passed through an area. If you’re doing restoration work on a house that was flooded, you’ll know that you have to be extra cautious, but you should be careful when you’re working anywhere that was recently hit by a severe storm.
- Avoid wet or damp basements altogether.
- If you’re running equipment off of generators, make sure the generators are properly sized. Every motor has a nameplate on it listing all of the electrical statistics––e.g. amperage, voltage, and RPMs. You can use this information to calculate the horsepower and wattage and then determine whether the generator size is suitable.
- If the power goes out while you are in the middle of the job, immediately turn off all equipment. Some equipment has a safety feature which will disengage certain switches once the power goes off and turns them back on when the power comes back. However, not all equipment has this feature. Make sure to turn off every switch on every single piece of equipment if the power goes out while you’re on a jobsite.
- If any of your equipment gets wet, do not run it. Turn it off immediately and get it to a repair shop as soon as possible so it can be disassembled and then dried out. An added threat is that there may also be corrosives in the water that has entered your equipment, such as salt from saltwater if you are situated along a coastline.
Protecting yourself, your equipment, and your vehicle from floodwater
- Avoid high water areas whenever possible.
- If you’re working within the timeframe when there is severe weather, make sure your work vans have safety kits. First aid kits are important, as well as tow ropes and chains so that your vehicle can be pulled out if you stall in high water.
- If your area is prone to flooding, can you move your equipment to high ground?
Protecting yourself if you are on a jobsite during severe weather
- Observe the jobsite that you’re on. Is it prone to loose debris that can move with excessive rain?
- Is the area you’re working in prone to quickly rising water? For example, are there swales, ponds, or slow moving creeks nearby?
- Is the house watertight if you’re on a jobsite during a storm? Is the house is not watertight and you notice moisture coming in through the windows, it’s best to leave quickly and seek high ground as soon as possible.
The most important thing is to keep yourself and your crew safe. We hope that you are able to weather any storm that’s passing through your area. Stay safe!
If you have any questions about taking precautions to protect your hardwood flooring equipment during severe weather, call us at (800) 737-1786.