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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Is There A Science To Drying Your Home Or Business?

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever had a water damage in your home or business, or known someone who has? If you have seen our equipment set up drying a structure, have you ever wondered how we determine what equipment to use? There is a science behind all of this. Psychrometry is what this science of drying is called. 

There is a formula that tells you how many pieces of equipment (both air movers and dehumidifiers) are needed to dry a space in a specific amount of time (which is normally 3 days). This formula takes into account how wet the space is, the air temperature, relative humidity and much more. As the air temperature increases the relative humidity decreases. Our air movers heat and assist in drying the surface of the wet materials. The elevated temperatures create evaporation. The dehumidifiers work by extracting the moisture from the air. The water is transported through a hose placed in a sink, tub or toilet. When a structure is in the drying process the air tends to be very warm and very dry. There is a fine balance to keep for optimum drying without added effects (yes it can rain indoors if the balance is way off).

Each day during the drying process readings are taken from inside the affected area as well as outside for temperature and relative humidity. This process is called monitoring and helps us to ensure that drying is being achieved. If not a determination of why has to be made and resolved. These measurements are logged in our system and can be referred back to later. These moisture readings are taken with specialized equipment each manager and crew chief has to carry with them. 

The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) has standards we have to follow to achieve the desired drying. The book of standards is about 6 inches thick. Our production, marketing and some office staff attend IICRC Water Restoration classes to be certified in the drying process. We also teach Continuing Education classes to our agents and adjusters about this science of drying. 

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