Water Damage - The Benefits of Advanced
In the past, contractors had few options available
to them when performing water-damage restoration. Equipment
was limited in its availability, variety, efficiency,
and effectiveness. Mitigating damage and restoring structures
to a pre-loss condition often proved ineffective. A
common and accepted practice among contractors was simply
to remove and discard damaged carpet, padding, and drywall.
Of course, that required installing new replacements,
resulting in additional cost and time for insurers,
contractors, and homeowners.
Today, the “science of drying” has improved significantly.
Water-damaged carpeting, pads, and drywall often can
be completely restored instead of replaced - sometimes
in better condition than they were in prior to the damage.
Powerful Moisture Extraction Techniques
Today’s powerful extraction equipment is far more effective
at removing moisture than wet/dry vacuums - a common
practice used for moisture removal in times past. In
fact, many tests have proven that with today’s extraction
equipment, water can be extracted through carpeting,
leaving the underlying pad slightly moist, but not wet.
Today’s highly efficient techniques keep repair costs
down and drying times to a minimum. This means that
all of the costs related to the former method can be
avoided, such as:
- Turning back and/or removing carpet
- Removing, discarding, and replacing the pad
- Replacing new carpet or relaying the old
- Long-term disruption for the homeowner
Quicker drying also means less time for mold or other
fungi to develop or colonize. This helps alleviate possible
health problems (including respiratory discomfort and
allergic reactions) that occur as a result. Organic
decay caused by fungi and mildew can weaken structural
materials such as drywall and wood framing to the point
that they must be replaced. Quick drying, through the
use of advanced dehumidification systems, robs these
harmful agents of moisture - a primary requirement for
their growth. With little or no moisture present, mold
and mildew either do not start or die very quickly.
Another benefit of rapid moisture removal is the prevention
of irreversible swelling in porous materials such as
paper and wood, shrinkage in some fabrics (such as upholstery
and drapes), metal rusting (doorknobs and hinges), and
electronic equipment that could fail with high levels
Using modern, state-of-the-art equipment returns a
structure and its contents to a pre-damaged condition
as quickly as possible. Some of these latest technologies
professional will use Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR)
Dehumidifiers to reduce relative humidity to as low
as 15%, removing up to 15 gallons of water from the
air per day of operation. Older dehumidifiers struggled
to reduce relative humidity to 40%, pulling perhaps
5 gallons of moisture from the air per day. This disparity
represents a vast improvement in efficiency, resulting
in faster drying times (24 to 48 hours as opposed to
four or more days with other methods).
In the right setting, a restoration professional will
turn to a Desiccant Dehumidifier. Desiccants use materials
such as silica gel that absorbs moisture from air. Desiccant
dehumidifiers generate extremely dry air (down to 5%)
and very warm temperatures (up to 100.F). When necessary,
they operate very effectively, even if the environment
is below freezing. New technology allows these units
to operate using standard household 110-volt circuits
. making their use appropriate for residential, as well
as commercial settings.
Another group of moisture-eliminating equipment that
a professional will employ dries the inside of walls
without removing drywall. In this process, baseboards
are removed and small holes are drilled through walls
near the base. Air is then forced into the cavity behind
the wall. This dramatically reduces drying time for
the wall - often to less than half of what it would
take to dry it by other methods. The forced air approach
also works for certain types of insulation, again eliminating
the need to remove drywall in order to gain access.
This method is especially appropriate with multi-ievel
water damage (water originates from above the room
being treated). In many cases, it is the only way to
effectively save the walls.
Knowledgeable restoration contractors such as PuroClean
Home Rescue (866-722-7876) invest in the latest equipment
and know the most effective and efficient ways to remove
moisture and dry structures and contents. That means
the home is returned to a pre-damaged state more quickly
- minimizing all related costs and inconvenience, along
with any additional living expenses for the insurance
company and homeowner.