Water Damage in Cell Phones: July Puts You at Higher Risk
We all know that water damage is a big problem facing cell phone users, but did you know that during the month of July you are at even greater risk of water damage to your brand new iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S3, or Motorola Razor? According to Asurion, the largest provider of mobile phone insurance in the U.S., July is the worst month for cellphone issues, with more claims filed around the 4th of July holiday than any other time of the year. According to an Asurion’s press release:
“As people enjoy time outdoors during weekends and over the Independence Day holiday, mobile phones are increasingly lost, damaged or stolen. The days immediately after the July Fourth holiday, more claims were made than at any other time of the year. Water-related damage is particularly high in July; in fact, Asurion saw more water damage issues than any other month, followed by June and August, respectively.”
So what does this mean for you, the cell phone user and potential victim of water damage? During the warm, summer months when people are spending more time outdoors and near water to keep cool, the potential for water damage is much higher than during the colder months. Here at HzO, we recently conducted our own study on water damage where over 400 individuals, ranging in age from under 24 to over 65 were most worried about damaging their phones during outside activities. In addition, most participants were worried about water damage from a body of water, such as a lake, pool, or beach, or water damage from rain. Most striking was the fact that 42% have experienced some sort of water damage on an electronic device in the past. These respondents also indicated that being able to take devices to the pool or beach without the worry of possible water damage would be extremely valuable to them, and a welcome addition to their lifestyle.
5 Water Damage Solutions
Currently, there are five solutions when it comes to truly attempting to deal with water damage prevention: aftermarket cases, manufacturer installed gaskets and O-rings, silicone/acrylic coatings, plasma coatings, and HzO WaterBlock.
- Aftermarket waterproof cases: Aftermarket waterproof cases come at no cost to the manufacturer, but often at great cost to the consumer. Not only are they sometimes bulky and awkward, but they can reduce use of the device itself. These cases rely on a series of plastic snaps and rubber seals to keep water out so, if they fail, or if there is user error in application, your device is going to face the effects of water damage anyways. This leaves manufacturers and consumers in the same initial position- both potentially stuck with the costs of device replacement and crazy water damage fixes on their own.
- Gaskets and O-rings: Both gaskets and O-rings, applied at the manufacturing level, provide a physical barrier between certain electronic components, such as smartphone cameras, and water. They work only when sealed and aligned properly, so any changes in alignment or gasket size due to manufacture defects, drops, temperature changes, age, etc. cause the seal to fail and allow the water and contaminants to penetrate and potentially compromise the device. In short: if you are looking for a foolproof way to prevent water damage, this isn’t it.
- Silicone/acrylic coatings: This is a type of device nanocoating mainly used for dust and dirt protection on small circuit boards within TVs, printers, and other electronics. It is a directional, spray-type coating, so it provides very little protection against water damage due to missed cracks and crevices that water can seep into. The coating is much thicker than newer nanocoatings, so it can lead to heat-retention issues and add weight to the device.
- Plasma applied coatings: Currently, plasma coatings are applied in one of two ways. The first is an aftermarket option where consumers can pay expensive, out of pocket costs to have their personal devices treated with the special coating. The other is a manufacturing solution where plasma coating is incorporated into the manufacturing process. In both options, the performance of plasma applied coatings remains the same: average, at best.
- HzO WaterBlock: HzO’s WaterBlock technology is nearly invisible, uniform, and 100 times thicker on a nano-scale than any other water resistant nanocoating- making it more difficult for corrosion or other common forms of water damage to occur. WaterBlock is only applied to the inside of the device, so it protects the critical electronic components without changing the aesthetics or function of the device itself. Applied at the manufacturing level, HzO’s WaterBlock not only provides manufacturers with superior water protective nanotechnology for their devices, but can also be covered by the manufacturer’s warranties so that consumers don’t have to pay out of pocket costs to have their devices individually water protected after they are purchased.
We at HzO have dubbed July “Water Damage Awareness Month,” so keep a lookout as we continue to bring you cool facts, pictures, articles, and news about water damage.