As we already know, mitigating water damage involves more than just removing visible water because many materials will retain water. During the water damage inspection, technicians first determine the size and the saturation of the affected area and then begin the clean-up process. After extracting the excess water, our team will begin the drying process by placing fans and dehumidifiers in the affected areas. These dryers and industrial strength dehumifiers will eliminate moisture from hard-to-reach areas.
How Do Dehumidifiers Work?
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the indoor air. They draw warm air into their cold coils through fans and as the moisture collects and condenses out, the fan blows the newly dried air out and back into the room.
Most people think the fans are doing all the drying while the dehumidifiers are only removing excess water from the air, but fans support dehumidifiers in rapidly drying an affected area. While fans and dehumidifiers are usually working together, dehumidifiers play a large role in maximizing drying efficiency and in preventing secondary damage.
Even if fans are running for multiple days, without a dehumidifier working in tandem, the affected area will take significantly longer to dry and cause secondary damage. Typically, multiple fans are placed within the affected air to create constant airflow across walls, carpets, sub-floors etc. This constant air flow causes moisture to evaporate faster and pushes dehumidifiers to remove the maximum number of gallons of water per day.
With the increase in evaporation, dehumidifiers are also maintaining and lowering the humidity within the affected area to prevent mold growth and other secondary damage.
Amazingly, even if the structure or the subfloor is not exposed, dehumidifiers will be able to draw out the moisture from inside the walls and underneath the flooring to dry out the materials. This is key because the dark, damp inside of walls and the underside of wet flooring are perfect places for mold to grow unseen. Other types of secondary damage include odor forming, flooring swelling and/or buckling, tiles popping up, and walls swelling/cracking which incurs additional mitigation costs and takes salvaging those materials off the table. If mold begins to form or is already present, then it will have to be mitigated first before any drying can occur to prevent the spread of spores.
Can You DIY Dehumidifying?
If possible, Dry Kings recommends placing consumer-grade dehumidifiers and fans to stabilize the affected area to prevent mold and other secondary damages. Placing dehumidifiers and fans as soon as possible after water damage has occurred will save you time and money. However, this is just a temporary solution until a professional is able to better assess your needs.
Although a consumer-grade dehumidifier could work to clean up water damage, the drying time would be weeks over days and would require constant emptying of the reservoir as most household dehumidifiers only remove 4-5 gallons of water per day.
Comparatively, a commercial dehumidifier would remove upwards of 10-20 gallons of water per day depending on its size. Of course, the next most important task of dehumidifiers is to lower humidity within the affected area, which is typically done with professional equipment. At Dry Kings, our technicians only use dehumidifiers that are intended for structural drying and are not consumer-grade machines. We always recommend leaving the job to the professionals when it comes to dehumidifying and drying during water damage restoration.
Is It Too Late to Call a Professional?
We understand property owners sometimes need more time to grasp the situation, make decisions, and speak with their insurance adjusters, but time is of the essence. Unfortunately, many insurance policies do not include coverage for or exclude certain types of secondary damage because it is the property owner’s responsibility to prevent additional damage. Because of this, we recommend getting help as soon as possible.
If your property has experienced recent water damage, do not ignore it! Even if you are not sure if there was “enough” water to cause damage, a free water damage inspection for Dry Kings Restoration will save you from worry and regret! Call us today at 415-429-6281 to schedule your free water damage inspection.