Return to the Blog Home Page

Drying out From Water Damage: Six Things to Know

Thursday, October 31st, 2019
home water damage

The aftermath of home water damage can be a confusing time. Drying out a wet house is a complex process and usually a project for experienced professionals. In fact, if the damage qualifies for homeowner’s insurance coverage, the policy usually stipulates that significant work must be performed by qualified, certified water damage experts. However, you can take certain basic but vital steps to begin the process of drying out a home yourself, before the pros take over.  

First And Foremost

Stay safe. Don’t enter wet areas of the house if electricity is still live in those rooms. Turn off power at the main electrical panel or contact an electrician to do so. Avoid any direct contact with contaminated water. If the damage results from a sewage backup or outdoor flooding, stay out of the affected area of the house and let qualified professionals remove the water.

Then What?

  • If home water damage originates from a non-contaminated source like a broken plumbing pipe, rainwater, or an overflowing appliance, you can use a broom or floor squeegee to push pooling water outside through an exterior door. In rooms without an exterior door, use a wet-dry vacuum if available to pick up and remove water, or simply a mop and bucket.
  • Opening windows lets in air to ventilate wet areas. Run fans to move air in affected rooms, too.  If the HVAC system is not damaged, turn on the system and switch the fan setting at the thermostat to “On” (instead of “Auto”) in order to circulate air continuously.
  • Water-saturated rugs, upholstered furniture, mattresses and other absorbent items should be hauled out of the house, ASAP. 
  • If a powered dehumidifier is available, keep one or more running in affected areas of the house to accelerate drying and prevent secondary damage resulting from high levels of indoor water vapor.
  • Have valuable paper items such as documents and photos gotten wet? You can temporarily interrupt the process of deterioration by freezing these items in a home freezer until professional document recovery services can be accessed. 

Can Drywall be Sealed and Painted After Water Damage?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

When indoor water damage strikes, drywall is often among the most conspicuous casualties. A ruptured pipe inside a wall cavity, a roof leak dripping down through the ceiling during heavy rain, water flooding a room and rising to meet the bottom of the walls—any of these scenarios can affect the highly absorbent combination of gypsum core and thin cardboard backing that composes a sheet of drywall. Is it a lost cause?

Maybe, Maybe Not

If wet drywall loses structural stability and sags or becomes deformed —or crumbles or collapses—it’s not a candidate for anything other than replacement. But what about drywall that remains intact, yet displays the discolored blotch that’s often left behind when wet drywall dries? Can you successfully seal and paint that ugly stain out of your life?

Here are some guidelines to painting stained, water-damaged drywall.

  • Rule 1: You can’t paint drywall until it’s completely dry. Ideally, this should be verified with use of a moisture meter to be certain. To adequately dry soaked drywall and prevent mold growth, professional water damage remediation experts utilize equipment such as an industrial dehumidifier running inside the sealed room as well as high-volume fans that continuously move air to accelerate the drying process. Only when the moisture meter reading drops below 1% —usually not before at least three days of intensive drying following the initial contact with water—should painting intact drywall be considered.
  • Once it is tested and confirmed dry, seal the drywall by painting the affected area with a thin application of an oil-based or alcohol-based primer. Allow the first coat to dry completely, then apply a second coat of primer.
  • After the primer has fully dried, you can apply the first coat of latex or whatever other type of paint was originally used. It may be difficult to match the existing color when painting only a small stained area affected by water, so you may have to paint the entire wall or ceiling for consistency’s sake. After the first coat dries thoroughly, apply a finish coat.

Saving Structural Areas Of Your Home After A Flood – Know The Facts

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

water extractionApplied structural drying brings together a comprehensive knowledge base and state-of-the-art technology to dry homes rapidly and efficiently. As the clock ticks after a water damage incident, minutes and hours are critical. The structural components and building materials of a house are increasingly compromised as water migrates deeper and secondary consequences such as toxic mold growth become more widespread. Applied structural drying uses a data-driven, systematic approach to minimize damage to materials and optimize drying results quickly. As much as possible, water extraction and drying is accomplished using non-destructive procedures and with as little disruption as possible. Real-time progress is documented at regular intervals until complete drying is verified.

The science of applied structural drying is based on industry-standard principles that include:

Rapid Drying
Getting water out of the house is first priority. Teams utilize powerful truck-mounted extractors to eliminate water. Depending on origin and contamination potential, water may be extracted from carpeting and other materials without removal of these materials. Vacuum squeegees pick up water from hard floors and high-volume pumps clear flooded spaces such as basements. Structural cavity drying systems (SCDS) can dry moisture that has spread into hard-to-reach voids.

Humidity Reduction
High humidity spreading throughout the house exacerbates water damage by causing secondary damage to areas not even contacted by water. Powerful tools include axial fans and centrifugal air movers to flush water vapor out of the house. High-volume dehumidifiers designed for interior water damage remediation use hygroscopic desiccants to dry circulating air.

Continuous Monitoring
Psychrometry is the science that guides and documents the water damage restoration process. Measurements are taken throughout the house at scheduled intervals during the project. Moisture sensors chart the extent of water intrusion, invasive and non-invasive moisture meters take spot measurements in affected areas and thermo-hygrometers chart relative humidity. Other technology such as borescopes to inspect structural voids and thermal cameras are also utilized to evaluate the drying progress. Precise measurements provide necessary data to confirm when dryness targets are achieved.

Why Structural Drying Is Important After A Flood

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

water extractionApplied structural drying is part of the professional water damage recovery curriculum developed by the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The science and technology of water damage remediation continues to evolve rapidly. Standard procedures now benefit from advanced research and methods to achieve total dryness quickly while minimizing disruption to structure and occupants. Certification in this specialty involves techniques that extend beyond just getting water out. Here’s how elements of applied structural drying make water damage recovery a science, as well as a trained skill.

As a critical part of structural drying, psychrometry is a system of accurately measuring moisture content inside a water-damaged house, tracking the recovery process and verifying that industry-standard criteria have been achieved. Assessing the extent, pinpointing the location of water damage and documenting results requires specialized techniques and the trained expertise of IICRC-certified technicians. Psychrometry ensures consistent results and typically accelerates the water damage recovery process.

Drying In Place
Emptying the entire house, tearing out carpets and dismantling structure in a random search for water is not an efficient mitigation strategy. Structural drying in place utilizes equipment and techniques to accurately detect and dry moisture wherever it may have spread. This allows recovery professionals to target specific areas for drying and mold treatment, without expending time and effort on areas unaffected by water.

Principles of structural drying typically rely more on technology and specialized equipment versus old-school manual methods. For example, instead of always ripping up wet carpets and padding, drying in place utilizes powerful extractors that can pull clean water—such as from common pipe ruptures—out of carpets and padding without lifting or removing them from the house.

Additional benefits of structural drying include:

  • Occupants get full access to the house sooner.
  • Insurance claims are usually resolved faster.
  • Risk of accompanying issues such as toxic mold growth are reduced.

For professional water damage recovery services by technicians certified and equipped for IICRC applied structural drying techniques, contact Rytech, Inc.

Structural Drying: An Important Technique Used to Mitigate Water

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Structural DryingAfter the source of water intrusion is eliminated, structural drying becomes the next priority. Water damage is an ongoing process so remediation is time critical. The longer areas of the house remain wet, the greater the potential for permanent structural damage as well and the growth of toxic mold and other pathogens triggered by moisture. Fortunately, professional water damage recovery experts arrive with a variety of advanced methods to hasten the process of structural drying and clean-up.   (more…)

Applied Structural Drying — What the Process Entails and the Benefits It Provides

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

applied structural drying-fan

Applied structural drying is the most effective noninvasive water damage restoration method used by professionals, such as the team here at Rytech. For a victim of water damage, it is a quick and easy process. Here is how it helps: (more…)

What to Expect From Rytech’s Mold Remediation Process

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

mold and mildew remediationIf your home has been damaged by water, then there are a lot of things that have to be done in order to remove the water and repair damages.

Removing the water immediately should be your main concern, since letting it sit can cause the growth and spread of bacteria and disease, not to mention cause even more physical damage to your home. You will also have to make sure that you have a mold and mildew remediation done in your home to help prevent the spread of mold and mildew both as a result of the water damage and in general.

The following are five steps that a professional mold and mildew remediation service will take to help prevent the growth of mold or mildew: (more…)

Dealing With a Flooded Home? Understand the Important 4-Step Structural Drying Process

Friday, October 4th, 2013

structural drying processWhen flood waters reach your home or business, there are many tasks that must be taken care of in a timely manner. Contacting a company that specializes in water damage and cleanup, structural drying and restoration is an important first step. (more…)