Each year vehicles are damaged during severe storms and hurricanes throughout the United States, and often that leaves the flooded cars totaled.

3 tips on how to prevent water damage to your vehicle

As we’re well into hurricane season, it looks like a good portion of the East Coast is going to be affected by upcoming Hurricane Florence, expecting to make landfall sometime Thursday and Friday. While meteorologists are still trying to figure out specifics, one thing we’re sure of is that there’s going to be rain, and lot of it.

Cars are susceptible to water damage during heavy rainfalls, and this can lead to mold, damaged upholstery, and overall mechanical failures. Rust can build up in nooks and crannies and electric devices can be destroyed when a car is flooded. If you’re not doing enough to protect your car from water damage, it could end up severely damaged or even totaled as a result.

How to prevent water damage to your car

If you live in any of the states that might be affected by Hurricane Florence, we highly recommend you familiarize yourself on the ways to detect water damage, and even more importantly, how to prevent it. Knowing how to prevent water damage to your car could save you a lot of trouble. Here’s how you can make sure your car stays safe and water damage-free over the coming days.

Store your car in a garage
We know, this one probably sounds like a no-brainer: If you have a garage at your house, use it!  Many homeowners use their garages for storage, as opposed to using it to store a car. If you can, make some room in your garage so your car(s) can fit inside during the storm. This would be one of the best ways to protect your car, not only from water damage but also from other threats like damage that strong winds can bring about.

Keep everything sealed
If a storm is approaching, and your car is outside, make sure that you seal it up. Roll up the windows, make sure the doors are shut, and close the sunroof. If any water seeps inside your vehicle it can damage the interior, leaving the inside soaked and creating a perfect environment for mold. Also, if you have any cracks in your windows, make sure they are repaired or appropriately sealed prior to a storm, since these can also let moisture in.

If you don’t think you’ll have time to get any repairs done, you can try sealing any cracks using a heavy duty garbage bag and duct tape. Of course, that’s not the most glamorous fix, but hey, you’re not going to be traveling anywhere during the storm anyways.

Head for the hills
As soon as you know where exactly the storm is heading, you may want to consider parking your car on a nearby hill. Parking your car high up will help you avoid pools of water that may form in lower-lying areas, keeping the undercarriage of your car safe from harmful water. Even if it’s a only a few feet higher up, it’ll help tremendously. Another option that some opt for is parking their car in a nearby parking deck. Many times these are covered and can provide extra shelter for your car if you don’t have a personal garage.

Avoid powering through the puddles
After a major storm, there’s going to be plenty of deep pools of still water on the roads. Avoid them as much as possible. When you’re on the road, keep an eye out for puddles and try to judge how deep they might be. If the water is going to reach areas of your car that are susceptible to water damage, try your best to avoid the still pools. If you have to drive through deep puddles, though, make sure not to stop, and instead maintain a slow and steady speed through the water.

How to spot water damage in your car

Keep an eye out for rust, mud, moisture beads, and mold all over the car, including the hard-to-look places. Additionally, try turning on the ignition and checking the vehicle’s panel lights on your dashboard, as well as other tools that use the car’s battery such as the air conditioning, windshield wipers, radio, heater, turn signals, and heater.

Water damage can essentially total your car, and it is important to take careful steps to avoid it, especially if you live in a flood-prone area.

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It does not replace or modify the information contained in your insurance policy.