After a disaster, either from fire or water, many items can be restored. The key to proper recovery is a quick response. The longer the equipment remains wet or covered in soot, increases the potential for the damage to amplify. Once the damage has occurred, only a qualified restoration company should handle the equipment.
Equipment affected from water damage is at risk from rust and corrosion. The type of corrosion depends on how the equipment is handled after the damage. For instance, if the equipment is powered on before it has been properly restored; there is the potential for electrolytic corrosion. This happens when electricity passes through wet circuit boards, and will damage the equipment. The equipment must be disassembled, cleaned, and completely dried in a baking oven at 110 degrees for up to eight to ten hours.
Equipment affected from fire or smoke damage may be handled similarly, however soot settling on the equipment causes additional hazards. Since soot is naturally acidic, this acid will eat way the metal finishes and erode the connectors, ultimately causing the electronics to fail. Another consideration of damage from a fire is if the equipment was affected by direct heat. This could cause smaller components of the equipment to melt.
Once the equipment is has been properly restored, ensure the company doing the restoration tests it to ensure it is working. Even before the restoration company has restored the equipment, there is still a chance it was rendered inoperable before the restoration began.
Make sure you also know your insurance policy, and if any electronics are not covered. Many times people purchase an expensive electronic and not adjusting their insurance policy to ensure it is covered. Also be sure to let both your insurance company and the restoration company know before the process begins if any equipment is under warranty.