Imagine a scenario where you come home from work, open the front door and are met with wet carpet and flooring (or even worse) water running out the door. It happens more than you can imagine and it can make for a very long day. Your first instinct is to do something – get the water up and perhaps put a fan on it. This is understandable, but in reality your first call should be to contact a Full Service professional restoration company like GRAP to handle the dry out and mitigation. We at GRAP often are called on jobs that the homeowner or business owner has attempted to mitigate themselves and they end up with mold and mildew because they were not aware of the science of drying.
Why won’t a common fan work you say? After all, a fan will dry it out right? Well, yes and no. It can actually make the situation worse. How can this be?
It’s all about science and Psychrometry!
Psychometry and The Science of Drying
What is psychometry and why would I need to know about it?
Structural drying is a scientific process called Psychrometry that requires professional water damage training and the use of specialized instruments. It is very site-specific and one size never fits all.
- Even with proper drying equipment in place, carpet can take 24 hours or more to dry.
- Moderately wet drywall can take 1-3 days.
- Hardwood flooring, plaster, concrete and wood may require 7-10 days to dry.
Contractors and claims professionals that promise to dry buildings in three days are probably ignoring scientific principles and standards. When determining what it will take to dry your property, mathematical formulas are used that take into account the amount and extent of water damage. Dehumidification equipment removes moisture from the air and prevents secondary water damage.
Temperature and Humidity
WET AND MOIST - DISASTROUS COMBINATION
The temperature and relative humidity inside your building or house play a key role in the science and process of drying out water-damaged areas. Raising the temperature allows more moisture to be absorbed into the air which, if not removed quickly, can lead to additional secondary water damage. The key is to maintain the temperature and humidity within a narrow range - which is a balancing act best left to the professionals.
Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. Do NOT raise the temperature in your building. Do NOT open windows or doors. Contain the affected area as much as possible.
- Relative Humidity (RH)
When the temperature is high and the relative humidity is low, evaporation of water is rapid. When the temperature is low and the relative humidity is high, evaporation of water is slow. When relative humidity approaches 100 percent, condensation can occur on surfaces, leading to problems with mold, corrosion, decay, and other moisture-related deterioration.
To physically remove moisture from the air, it must be dehumidified. When airflow is increased and moisture content is lowered (dehumidification), the evaporation process is accelerated. This process can minimize or possibly eliminate condensation, warping/deterioration of furniture and building materials, mold and mildew, and cockroaches or mites that thrive in damp conditions.
At the end of the day, Call GRAP Restoration first and let us handle the entire process from mitigation to reconstruction. We have the equipment and knowledge to get it done right! (229) 439-0240