Humidity, Temperature & Airflow influence the movement of moisture within a material as well as the evaporation rate from the surface of the material and can greatly impact the overall drying time for a water damage restoration project. Quickly reducing moisture in the air and introducing sufficient airflow will reduce water activity, ultimately lowering the potential for microbial activity.
Four Principles of Drying
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has identified four principles of drying water damaged structures, which include removal of standing water, evaporation through air movement, dehumidification, and temperature control. The principles may be used singularly but are commonly more effective in combination.
Excess Water Removal
Excess water removal is generally the initial step in any water damage restoration effort. Excess water can be removed by physical means, but emergency restoration professionals usually deploy equipment designed and manufactured for this specific purpose. Removing water in its liquid state is at least 500 times more efficient than skipping this step and going straight into using air movers and dehumidifiers.
Following excess water removal, remaining surface moisture is removed via evaporation. Evaporation involves water from a liquid to a gaseous state, which is achieved via air movement. Specialized air moving equipment is used by water mitigation professionals to catalyze this process.
Dehumidification is applied to remove evaporated water vapor from the air, which is measured in Grains Per Pound (see below). It should be noted that, under some circumstances, moisture laden air may be externally exhausted. Failure to remove excess moisture from the air may result in significant ancillary damages such as mold contamination, which can threaten the health of building occupants. Without dehumidification to remove excess moisture from the air, hygroscopic materials in the room could become saturated, delaying structural drying and making mold growth likely.
Controlling the temperature water mitigation job promotes effective evaporation and dehumidification. Moreover, microbial activity is temperature sensitive, making temperature modification and control an important basic principle for safe, effective water damage restoration. Warm air between about 70- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, cooler air slows evaporation, so being warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit aids in the evaporation process. Overly hot air above 90 degrees Fahrenheit impedes the effectiveness of refrigerant dehumidifiers.
Emergency Restoration Services
If your property has sustained damages requiring emergency water damage restoration services, Property Recovery 911 is available any time of day or night 365 days a year with 24/7 live phone support to efficiently mitigate losses and help curtail additional damages. For more information, contact us at (267) 808-7200. We are the clear choice to deliver outstanding flood cleanup services at reasonable rates. Direct insurance company billing is available, allowing our customers to concentrate on more important matters.