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The Four Principles of Drying

It is 3 in the morning, and you have been awakened by a strange noise. You step onto the floor and find that it is saturated with water. You open the telephone book and call Reputable Water Damage Specialists. Reputable tells you that they will have to extract the water and set up drying equipment. The whole process should take several days and it will cost about $5,000.00. That is a lot of money. Is all that work necessary?

So you call ABC carpet cleaners. ABC says that they can extract the water for $500.00. He tells you to go to Walmart in the morning to buy a couple of fans to dry what he cannot extract. That is a lot less money.

So which of these options is giving you real value? What does quality water damage restoration look like?

To answer this question, it is best to consult a third party who is disinterested in whether you spend $5,000 or $500. The Institute for inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is that disinterested, well informed third party. They are the internationally recognized authority on water damage.

The IICRC has found that there are four principles to properly drying a structure: removal of standing water, evaporation through air movement, dehumidification and temperature control. What do the four principles look like in a home or business?

1. Removal of standing water. The most efficient way to remove water in a building is to physically vacuum it. This is normally accomplished by using a powerful carpet cleaning machine. If carpet and pad are involved, there are several devices that are available that will utilize the weight of the technician to compress the pad to allow for the maximum removal of water.

2. Evaporation through air movement. After a water loss, drywall, wood framing and subfloors are typically saturated with water. This water can only be removed through evaporation. This is normally accomplished using industrial air movers that move thousands of cubic feet of air per minute. (The Walmart box fan does not begin to be able to accomplish this task.) A 10’ x 10’ room that has been completely affected by a water loss will normally require 4 industrial air movers to adequately dry the room.

3. Dehumidification. Charleston is very humid. Fill your home with water and it becomes even more so. It is extraordinarily difficult to evaporate water when the air is already full of water. Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air, put it in a liquid state and remove it from your structure.

4. Temperature Control. This is the most complex of the drying principles. All drying equipment works best at specific temperatures. Most dehumidifiers work best between 80 and 90 degrees. Some materials will dry more quickly when the surface temperature is 90 degrees or higher.

If the company offering to perform “water damage restoration” is not following the four principles, there is a high probability that the end result will be a home contaminated with mold, bacteria, viruses and parasites. If the company you called vacuumed the water up for a great price and drove away, chances are you did not get the deal you were hoping for.

When water attacks your home, call a certified water damage professional. Rainbow International responds to water damage emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.