Water damage can leave you in a position where you’re not sure how to act. Not only is your home or property potentially impacted by the water itself, but there may be a variety of other issues present, not to mention potential health hazards as well. An important step you need to take before you begin the repair and reconstruction process is making sure that the structure is adequately dried out. While a flood or burst pipe can cause damage in seconds, the drying process is a lot more drawn out.
First, it’s important to mention in the overall response to water damage, the dry out is generally in the middle of the process rather than at the beginning. Before you start drying, you need to use items like dehumidifiers to minimize the chance of mold growing, as well as remove any standing water. This standing water could pose a potential health hazard, and it won’t be safe for you or any restoration professionals to work in until it’s gone. Other potential safety issues that are worth looking out for include:
- Making sure power is turned off to the building or home
- Checking for any gas odors or leakage
- Making sure the building is structurally sound
Generally, this only applies to major flooding situations, so you can skip this step for smaller water damage that’s confined to one area or one room. Another good idea to do before you dry is to take photos of the home for insurance purposes.
For the actual process of drying, it’s important to be thorough, as there are many things beyond what you may see at first that can potentially retain water. A good case example of this is the attic. Insulation can easily get soaked and lose its effectiveness. Wet boxes or storage can lead to potential cracks in the ceiling below.
As a start, in this or any room, you want to open the windows in your home in order to promote natural airflow, but professionals will bring along added equipment to help in this process. Air movers are essentially massive fans that help circulate airflow throughout the room. In addition, the same dehumidifiers used to keep mold from growing after the initial cleanup will serve a similar purpose during the dry-out stage. In addition, keeping the environment dry minimizes the chance of swelled or warped floors and furniture.
The thing that tends to drag out the dry-out process the most, though, is taking the time to look at every portion of the affected area for moisture. We already mentioned insulation, but molding, backboards, and wallpaper are all going to need to be removed in order to get rid of trapped moisture. Wallpaper may be a bit of a surprise here, but the reason for this is that it creates a “seal” that holds moisture in the wall. Other extreme but necessary methods may include drilling holes into the drywall in order to help them dry out faster.
One other final piece of the dry-out process that goes on parallel to this other work is containment. Wet areas in the home will be taped off while drying is going on to ensure that heat and suction are going to the rooms that need it most. The dry-out crew will also check the surfaces as well as readings to see how well the drying is progressing. When it is finally done, you can start redesigning the room to make it livable once again. There are a lot of different working parts to a dry-out, and doing so properly is essential to making sure that your home isn’t permanently impacted. The ideal way to do this is to make sure that you have professional help and support. We believe in doing the most for our customers in the area. This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help your property recover after severe damage, whether it’s due to a plumbing failure or weather issues.