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A Tale for All Seasons

How many times have you heard the phrase, or even said, “We will pay for 3 days drying, that’s all!” We at GRAP Restoration have been hearing it for years from adjusters and have always wondered how it started because it sometimes takes more drying time. Have you ever wondered, where did that idea come from? Who started it? Does it always work?

Years ago, a large corporate restoration company came out with a marketing idea – “Dry-In-3.” The concept became an immediate hit with claim representatives. They could write a check for three day drying and close the file.

Who among adjusters does not love the idea of closing a file quickly? However, what was the small print? What did many fail to read?

The Fine Print

The creator of the concept never said, “we will dry any structure in 3 days.” What they did say was, “if it’s not dry in 3 days, there will be no further charge.” Then the disclaimers were as follows: maximum size 1400 sf., wood flooring was exempt, and the loss had to be a class 1 category 1 (we’ll talk more about these class qualifications in another blog!)

Can you, as an adjuster or mitigation company, expect 3 day drying?

Possibly. A moderate built home, good insulation, clean water loss, (category 1) concrete slab that has been wet less than 72 hours may well respond to 3 day drying. The homeowner must cooperate by leaving the equipment running 24/7 and a temperature 80°+. A move-out is ideal. Older uninsulated homes with wood flooring will take a few days longer.

When a mitigation company provides little to poor documentation, and the drying goes into 8 -10 days or longer, something is likely amiss. Here are a few common reasons:

  • The equipment is not working properly
  • The equipment is the wrong kind for the job
  • The homeowner is turning the equipment off each night (often forgetting to turn it back on the next day) 
  • The contractor does not know how to set a house up to dry, the reasons go on and on.
As an adjuster, what should you expect?


When you ask the contractor for their drying goals, do you get the deer-in-the-headlight-stare? When you ask, “how wet is it?”  Do you get such answers as, “it’s really wet" or "it’s 100% wet"? That is impossible as wood is saturated at 35%MC (another topic we’ll dive into more on another day!)

Adjusters, Do you get drying logs with the invoice? Drying logs state the drying goals and a daily progression toward those goals. (Have you ever paid for monitoring and not received a monitoring report?) Be honest.

So, it’s not really all about drying everything in 3 days. It is about receiving documentation showing why it possibly took more than 3 days, when and if it does.

As an adjuster you may be justified to limit drying charges to 3 days, unless the contractor justifies why it took longer, by providing you with drying logs, moisture content logs, and progression of drying logs. You should also be getting dehumidifier performance reports (psychrometric logs). These prove if the dehumidifier was or was not working.

So, will it dry in 3 days?

It might. If it does not, the next question should be: why not? The contractor owes you a plausible explanation. In summary, the 3-Day Drying Misnomer is just that... a misnomer.

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