Water Damage Restoration
The Basics of drying a water damaged home
Water is the only natural compound to exist on earth in liquid, solid and vapor states. All three of those states can cause damage in a home.
On average, 2% of households will experience some sort of water damage in any given year, damage seriousness enough to require professional help for restoration. Every part of the country has its unique environmental conditions that contribute to this trouble. In Colorado we don’t see hurricanes and thankfully and floods like that of 2013 are rare but severe rain is common and winters are cold enough to freeze pipes. Surprisingly, it’s not natural catastrophes like the 2013 floods we experienced in Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Loveland and Fort Collins.
Most household water damage results from more mundane causes such as dishwasher leaks, water heater failure, refrigerator leaks and broken washer hoses.
In 2016 alone we have helped homeowners in almost every northern Front Range community; Longmont, Boulder, Northglenn, Thornton, Frederick, Johnstown, Loveland, Lafayette, Erie and Louisville and others recover from water damage in their homes.
Drying a home is not always as simple as using household fans. If water is inside the walls or ceiling, if the carpet pad has a barrier layer (commonly called a pet pad), if hardwood floors are wet, airflow alone won’t get the job done. You need high volume airflow and dehumidification working together to restore damage of that extent. Typical home box fans don’t have adequate airflow and don’t provide any dehumidification capability. If you experience water damage in your home there are two things to remember;
- Act fast; Speed is critical, time is not on your side. The longer a home remains wet the more likely the damage will spread and the more likely mold and other microbial growth will start. Carpet backing may start to breakdown, drywall may fracture and hardwood may swell to the point where it can’t be saved.
- Hire trained qualified contractors: Drying your home with minimal damage and disruption is a function of knowledge (IICRC certified), the right equipment and the knowledge to use the equipment effectively.
Our objective when we are called to help is to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible and with as little damage and disruption as possible. Recent innovations in drying equipment have given us tools we need to enable us to get your house and lives back to normal quickly. Not long ago contractors didn’t have the training or the equipment we have today. It used to be that when you suffered damage the restoration contractor would remove any wet carpets and pads, remove any wet hardwood floors and remove wet drywall up to about 4 feet off the floor. After everything was dry the homeowner had a lot of rebuilding to do and a lot of contractors to find. It could be a long, expensive and very and frustrating process
Drying water damaged home today is pretty straightforward; first we extract the standing water out of carpets and floors. Next we establish an environment that causes the remaining water in the floors, walls, ceilings and contents to evaporate quickly. The ambient air becomes saturated with water vapor, that saturated air is then cycled through a dehumidifier where the water is extracted from the air and warm dry air is returned to the space for the cycle to repeat.
Every water damage situation is unique. The strategy we use depends on how much water has invaded the space and contents, what types of materials are wet, the layout of the affected rooms and other factors. Technicians will employ a variety of equipment depending on that specific situation. Water extraction equipment will be employed if needed. Air movers of various types will be used as needed to circulate air everywhere water has intruded. Overall the technicians will establish an airflow pattern that pushes warm dry air into the wet areas and pulls the wet saturated air into the dehumidifier.
Continuous innovations in drying equipment and training have given us the capability to save carpets, walls and floors in many cases but speed is critical. The faster we can start drying the house and contents the more we can save. This results in lower costs and less disruption that homeowners have to contend with. With our equipment we can often dry carpets and pads in place, dry hardwood floors in place and dry walls and ceilings inside and out.
The industry has matured and training has improved significantly over time. All of our technicians are trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in Water Damage Restoration. They are expert in using the science of psychrometry to optimize the conditions in the home to speed drying. For our purposes of drying homes and contents, psychrometrics is basically the scientific understanding of how air, water and water vapor interact and how environmental conditions effect that relationship.
All of this training, knowledge and equipment enable us to get you and your home back to normal as quickly as possible. This means less disruption and lower repair bills