Structural Drying

Four Principles Of Rapid Structural Drying

1. Extraction

Principle 1: Physical Removal Of Water

Removal of water in the liquid state is 500 times more efficient than changing liquid to vapor with air movers and removing the vapor with dehumidification. Specialty tools have been designed to remove maximum amount of water out of carpets and cushions such as the Hydro-X Extreme or the Water Claw. These tools require more time, so expect a higher line item charge for water extraction, but they can reduce the number of equipment rental days due to their efficiency. Removing carpet cushion may not be necessary using Rapid Structural Drying techniques.

2. Air Flow

Principle 2: Evaporation

After as much water as possible has been removed physically, the remaining water must be evaporated using high-velocity air. Over the last few years, new types of air movers have been introduced that provide much higher air movement at lower amperage and are specifically designed for Rapid Structural Drying. In the past, air movers were designed to be inserted underneath the carpet to allow it to float. Usually one air mover was installed for every 200 to 250 sq. ft of floor space. Today's air movers sit on top of the floor and face the wall at a 45° angle. These are typically placed at 1 per 12-16 linear feet of wall space. Therefore, a 10 x 12 room could have four air movers with this system, as opposed to two with the old system. More equipment is used but the drying is faster. This increased airflow evaporates the water from the wet structural materials much more rapidly.

3. Dehumidification

Principle 3: Balanced Evaporation

Dehumidifiers are used to balance evaporation. In other words, the moisture being put into the air from the air movers has to be taken out of the air, or secondary damage will occur. Without dehumidifiers, hygroscopic materials would absorb moisture out of the air and become damaged, drying would be delayed, and mold growth could occur. By utilizing the new low grain refrigerant dehumidifiers we can remove much more moisture from the affected area than ever before!

4. Temperature

Principle 4: Temperature Control

Maintaining proper temperature is critical in drying a structure quickly. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air; therefore, warm air will increase the rate of evaporation. However, there are certain variables to consider. First, refrigerant dehumidifiers are most efficient between 70-90 degrees. Second, the equipment itself generates heat that could easily accelerate temperatures to above 90 degrees. Usually within the first 24 to 48 hours, because of the cooling effect of moisture evaporating from materials, temperatures are easily maintained. Keeping the temperature of the affected area between 80° - 90° for the first 36 - 48 hours can assist drying enormously. Drying chambers can be utilized to contain the warmer temperatures to the affected area.