It’s All About The Air: A Ventilation Primer
For all the talk about what goes into water damage restoration, at the end of the day, the single most important aspect of the entire restoration process is air. It is air that does the drying, it is air that keeps mold away, and it is air that keeps humidity and moisture levels within acceptable parameters. There is a reason that one of the first steps taken following any sort of water damage is to open all windows and doors and get as much air moving as possible.
It is the air moving across the water damaged surface that dries the water up. No matter how hard you run the pump or the shop vac, most every surface is going to remain wet to the touch afterward, having retained a significant amount of moisture. Opening windows gets fresh air into the area and keeps it circulating, and bringing out fans, blowers, and other air moving devices helps accelerate the process. High-velocity fans are recommended, and the more the better. Having a number of fans placed around the damaged area and repositioned every few hours will do much to speed up the drying process.
Of course, air on various hard surfaces is only part of the problem, as water damage tends to raise relative humidity levels in the area where it occurs. Dehumidifiers may be brought to bear in this case, designed to remove residual moisture in the atmosphere and bring humidity levels down. Used in conjunction with a digital moisture meter, you can easily tell when proper levels have been achieved. Normal levels for humidity in a structure fall somewhere between 40-45%. In some cases, such as a humidity prone basement, a dehumidifier may have to be run on a regular basis to keep things in order.
In addition to the basement, some rooms are just prone to humidity problems, such as the laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen. Maintaining proper ventilation in these areas is vital to avoid damage by water, humidity, mold, or all of the above.
For your laundry room or bathroom, you may want to utilize ventilation hoses or fans to remove the excess moisture. Most kitchens already come equipped with fans designed to clear the air of smoke and other elements related to cooking and cleaning.
You may also use your home’s heating and air system to your advantage when dealing with water problems. If the outside air is warm, then turn your air conditioning on high. Likewise, if the air outside is cold, crank up the heat. In both cases, getting the air moving and circulating through your home will be the single biggest plus when it comes to drying out any water damage problems.
Of course, Restoration Local has service providers in your community who can be onsite within the hour to properly handle all of your water restoration needs.