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Dealing With Water Damage on a Laptop

Dealing With Water Damage on a Laptop

Dealing With Water Damage on a Laptop

If you just spilled water on your laptop, you might be justifiably concerned. And while this issue can certainly be cause for immediate action, there's not necessarily a need to panic if this happens to you.

At PC Laptops, we're happy to offer the very best computer and laptop repair services in West Jordan and other parts of Utah, assisting clients with numerous issues their devices might be dealing with. How should you react if water has just come into contact with your laptop in more than just a droplet or two? Here are some tips, including how to manage the situation plus some areas where our team of computer repair specialists may be able to help.

Risks of Water Damage

First and foremost, for those unaware, here are some of the key risks of water damage to a laptop:

  • Water and electricity: Mixing the two can create a dangerous and potentially explosive scenario.
  • Short-circuiting: When water comes into contact with delicate electronics, it can cause shorts and circuit failures.
  • Rust: Any metal components that have been exposed to water will start to rust over time.
  • Mold: Excess moisture can create a perfect environment for mold to grow, which can lead to long-term damage and health concerns.

Our next several sections will go over how to manage the situation if water damage does take place. 

Shut it Down Immediately

As soon as water comes into contact with your laptop, the first step you should take is to shut it down. This will help to prevent any further damage from occurring. If you're not able to turn it off manually, try holding down the power button for a few seconds until it shuts down.

This is because water and electricity don't mix well! Any contact between the two can cause a short circuit, and this could fry your computer's delicate internal components. By shutting it down as soon as possible, you may be able to save it from further damage.

In addition, do not turn the laptop back on until you've taken the necessary steps to dry it out. Continuing to use a wet laptop can cause permanent damage, which is why this is so important.

Remove Detachable Elements

The next step here, one that's very important, is removing certain detachable elements from the laptop quickly. These include:

  • Battery: The single most important removable element you can remove is the battery. If it's wet, try to remove it and dry it off as soon as possible.
  • RAM: If your laptop has a removable RAM chip, do your best to take it out and dry it off. This will help to prevent any short circuits from occurring.
  • CD/DVD Drive: If your laptop has a CD/DVD drive, try to remove it and dry it off.
  • Keyboard and mouse: If you can, try to remove the keyboard and mouse from the laptop and dry them off.
  • Power cord: If it's safe to do so, unplug the power cord from the laptop and dry it off.

If you can't remove any of these elements, don't worry! Just try to dry them off as best as possible and move on to the next step.

Drying Wherever Possible

Next up, it's time to take whatever steps you can to dry the laptop. You can start by pat-drying certain areas with a paper towel -- though you need to be careful not to push water further into the device. If you're using a cloth of any kind for this, be sure there is no lint attached to the cloth, as this may cause even further damage.

For areas that cannot be pat-dried, air drying is the general recommendation. Some people try forced hot air machines like hair driers, but we strongly recommend against this. The heat can cause further damage to the device, so it's best to just let it air dry on its own.

This process could take a few days, so be patient! If you try to hurry things along, you could end up doing more harm than good.

Making a Tent

One specific drying format that will sometimes work is making a tent out of the laptop itself. It's vital that all detachable parts be removed first, as they may change the weight of the laptop.

Once this is done, stand your laptop in a V-shape, similar to how you would display a flag. Try to keep the opening of the V pointed down, as this will help the water to drain out. You can then place some paper towels or a cloth inside the V, and let it sit for several hours.

Be sure to check on it regularly, and replace the towels or cloth as needed. This process should be completed in a warm, dry interior area where the laptop will not be exposed to any additional moisture.

Bringing It In for Help

In some cases, the themes we've gone over will be enough to solve minor water damage issues. If the water contact is caught quickly enough and the laptop is dried out properly, there may be no permanent damage done.

However, if the water has had time to sit and seep into the device, or if you're not comfortable trying any of these steps yourself, it's always best to bring your laptop in for professional help. Water damage can cause serious problems for your computer, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.

So, if you've just spilled water on your laptop, don't panic! There are a few things you can do to try and save it, including shutting it down quickly, removing detachable elements, drying where possible, and making a tent. If these steps don't work or you want some help, contact our pros at PC Laptops today, where we're proud to assist West Jordan and other Utah clients with these and related PC or laptop issues.