When many think of water damage restoration, water extraction immediately comes to mind. However, there are other methods available to dry out water damaged carpeting. Two of the most successful alternatives to water extraction are air drying and dehumidification. When properly executed, these methods can dry out your carpet and prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Remember with any water damage, fast action is required. You must begin repairing wet carpet within one to two days of the water damage or you will need to discard the carpet due to bacteria growth.
Before beginning water restoration methods, remove all furniture from the surface of the carpet. Also, traffic on the carpet should be restricted to an absolute minimum to prevent any further damage.
Air Drying is an Economical Way to Restore Your Carpet
The oldest and most commonly used technique for water damaged carpet is air drying. The principal of air circulation is the basis for the air drying method. Air flow accelerates the drying out process by moving the moisture-filled air. This in turn allows the dry air to absorb the moisture. The ideal way to air dry a room is to keep all available windows and doors open. This will allow proper air movement.
The air drying technique involves no specific equipment, so it is inexpensive. The downside to air drying is that it is relatively slow. A faster dry out method involves the reduction of humidity. With this technique, materials including carpet, furniture, and flooring will dry out at a much faster rate.
Dehumidifiers Eliminate Moisture, and Prevent Possibility for Bacteria Growth
The process of removing moisture from the air is referred to as dehumidification. When applied to water damage, dehumidification should be employed immediately.
A dehumidifier is a machine that reduces humidity by removing moisture from the air. When humidity is reduced, a faster drying out process will occur. After a water damage situation has occured, dehumidifiers are extremely important because they work to stabilize the environment. Currently, there are two types of dehumidifiers commonly used: the refrigerant dehumidifier and the desiccant dehumidifier.
The Refrigerant Dehumidifier
The standard refrigerant dehumidifier is the most well known of the two. This dehumidifier operates by transferring moist air over cold coils. As the saturated air advances by the coils, the temperature of the air is decreased to the saturation level. This moisture then condensates on the coils and drips into the collection bucket. A high performance refrigerant humidifier can remove approximately five gallons of water in a 24-hour period, and at 80˚F can reduce the humidity to 40 percent.
One of the advantages of a refrigerant dehumidifier is that it is the lowest cost humidifier available. However, a problem with this type of dehumidifier is that as the air gets cooler, the performance deteriorates.
The Desiccant Dehumidifier
This second kind of dehumidifier uses a “desiccant” to eliminate water from the air. Any material that has a high enough attraction to water to dry moisture from the surrounding air is called a desiccant. Desiccants are divided into two kinds: absorbents and adsorbents. Absorbents chemically or physically change as they absorb water. Absorbent desiccants include sugar, salt, and lithium chloride. Adsorbents do not change when picking up water, and hold moisture onto the surface of their particles. Adsorbents include silica and cotton. Desiccant humidifiers will use absorbents and adsorbents such as lithium chloride and silica gel for their desiccant materials.
The desiccant dehumidfier operates by transferring the moist air flow through a punctured cylinder that is holding the desiccant. As this cylinder slowly rotates, the saturated air goes through the perforations. When this occurs, the moist air is taken in.
Accutech Restoration is a full service, emergency water removal company, and we offer one-hour response time, guaranteed! If you need the assistance of a certified, insured, and bonded water mitigation technician, then contact Accutech for more information on our services or to set up a consultation.