Structural Drying and DehumidificationChoosing the Appropriate Drying Strategy
Drying, Dehumidification and Water Damage
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The goal of any water damage company in addressing your flooded property should be to return your affected property and contents to their natural moisture level in the quickest and most cost effective manner possible. This moisture level is called the dry standard. The dry standard is determined by taking moisture readings on unaffected materials of the same type and makeup. If unaffected materials are not available than regional dry standards for materials such as drywall, wood framing, hardwood floors and more can be used. The atmospherics of the affected chamber must also be considered so that the proper amount of dehumidification is used. If too little dehumidification is utilized than the evaporating moisture can resettle in other materials resulting in secondary damage to your property. If too much dehumidification is used this can cause damage to materials as well as needlessly drive up the cost of services. At Water damage, Inc., we utilize various tools to help determine the appropriate drying strategy to quickly dry out your flooded home as well as keep your costs as low as possible. Some examples of these tools are below:
➢ Moisture Detection Tools: Moisture meters are vital for taking accurate readings of the moisture levels of the affected materials. Our meters are able to take surface readings of materials like drywall as well as probe into wall cavities and through hardwood floors and carpets to check subfloors. We can reach insulation behind walls to test for moisture as well as visually inspect the wall cavities with tools such as borescopes. In addition to meters, our infrared cameras help us to track down any moisture that may otherwise be hidden and pose a risk for developing mold if not properly addressed.
➢ Thermo-Hygrometers: These tools measure the temperature and relative humidity of the affected area. These numbers along with the size of the drying chamber then allow us to calculate the correct amount of dehumidification required to free up space in the air for moisture to be released from the affected materials.
Water Damage Drying and Dehumidification Equipment
Air movers come in all shapes and sizes and are part of the H.AT. principle of drying. H.A.T. stands for humidity, airflow and temperature and are three factors that a water damage company need to control in order to effectively dry a structure. Humidity, airflow and temperature influence the movement of moisture within a material as well as the evaporation rate from the surface of a material. The IICRC, which sets the standards for the water damage industry, recommend constant and continuous airflow over all affected materials. After adding one air mover in each affected room, the restorer should then add air movers as needed based upon 1. every 50 to 70 SF of affected wet floor. 2. Every 100 to 150 SF of affected wall above two feet and ceilings. 3. One air mover for each wall inset or offset greater than 18 inches. Sometimes specialty drying equipment is also needed such as floor mat systems for hardwood floorings and wall cavity drying equipment.
Dehumidifiers are used to remove moisture from the air in order to free up space for moisture evaporating from wet materials. To determine the number of dehumidifiers needed a restorer needs to consider the cubic feet of the area being dried, the number of pints the dehumidifier can remove from the air per day along with the “class” of the water loss. Class refers to the amount of affected materials in proportion to the overall size of the affected area. For example class one is the least possible amount of water damage in an area or room with little to no wet carpet or padding. Once the class of the water damage, the size of the chamber and the amount of pints per day needing removal are known, the correct dehumidifier(s) can be placed.
There are no fees or obligations with our inspections and we will provide you with a written estimate to properly mitigate any damage we find.