When is Professional Dehumidification Needed?

professional dehumdifierSuccessful water damage remediation entails removing all the water from the house: both the water you can see and the water you can’t see. Visible water means the flooding, pooling and puddles resulting from the original incident. Invisible water, meanwhile, manifests as extreme indoor humidity. In the wake of any water intrusion, evaporation into the air from standing water and absorbent materials inside the house is a major factor that determines the extent of damage.

Only in the most limited cases—such as minor pooling on the hard floor of a single room which is removed promptly—is dehumidification not a part of the professional water damage recovery process. Here’s why:

  • Water vapor travels places where water itself never goes. High humidity readily migrates to rooms and upper levels of the house where water in a liquid state isn’t present.
  • Exposure to high humidity and accompanying condensation causes secondary damage to absorbent building materials, carpeting, and household possessions such as books, paper materials, and photographs.
  • High humidity slows the drying process of building materials that have absorbed water. This extends the time period to achieve total water damage recovery.
  • Water vapor infiltrates internal areas of the structure where airborne mold spores collect. Contact with liquid water isn’t required to activate toxic mold. Indoor humidity as low as 55% can trigger some forms of mold and 70% indoor humidity virtually assures mold growth.

To prevent the consequences of high humidity, professional water damage remediation employs techniques that include:

  • High speed fans. As standing water is removed and water is extracted from materials such as carpets, water damage technicians utilize specialized fans that move air in very large volume. These fans can be focused to direct the flow of air at specific areas such as along surfaces like the floor or walls.
  • Industrial grade dehumidifiers. These units incorporate coils that circulate refrigerant, causing water to condense out of air pulled through the coil by a powerful fan. Dehumidifiers usually run continuously during the water damage recovery process until indoor relative humidity reaches the target level.

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