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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Chicago’s Water Damage Experts Explain Rapid Structural Drying

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Chicago’s Water Damage Experts Explain Rapid Structural Drying When a water leak takes place inside your Chicago apartment, excessive moisture can negatively affect your contents and building materials.

Water Damage Experts Explain Rapid Structural Drying

When a water leak takes place inside your Chicago apartment, excessive moisture can negatively affect your contents and building materials. The longer things stay wet, the more likely they will get ruined and need to be replaced. Over time water saturates materials and causes them to lose their structural integrity and fall apart. The organic materials inside your home carry a risk of mold contamination if they stay wet for more than 48 hours.

If moisture stays inside contents and materials, the severity of the problems increase. When mitigating water damage in Chicago, our SERVPRO technicians’ primary goal is to prevent secondary issues. When water directly affects an object the problems that occur are considered primary. Secondary damage results when water vapor penetrates items and negatively affects them. Therefore, prompt mitigation can greatly reduce the amount of water vapor present in the air, reducing the chance of suffering secondary issues.

The first step to moisture removal is to vacuum up as much water as possible using specialized, industrial extraction equipment. Once the extractors get to the point where they are no longer pulling up water, the rapid drying phase begins. The goal of drying is to speed up the natural evaporation process and return moisture levels to normal as quickly as possible.

Since things in nature always seek equilibrium, we know that water from wet materials will evaporate into dry air sitting next to it. This is why we set up air movers to push air across surfaces so that the air next to wet materials stays dry allowing it to collect moisture. However, once all of the air in the room gets saturated, the moisture must be removed from the air. To lower a building’s relative humidity, we set up dehumidifiers that pull vapor out of the air and dispense it in liquid form.

To accomplish speedy drying, our SERVPRO crew uses principles of psychrometry. Psychrometry is the study of the humidity, air, and temperature, and their effect on various materials. Since air can hold more water at higher temperatures, humidity, airflow, and temperature all play major roles in determining how fast materials dry. High relative humidity numbers can slow down drying because the air must have less moisture than the affected materials for water to evaporate. Higher temperatures lower a room’s relative humidity thus speeding up drying.

Structures dry out best when they have constant airflow, high temperatures, and low relative humidity percentages. This is why we use air movers to create circulation, dehumidifiers to keep humidity low, and heaters to raise the temperature. If you need help drying out moisture before more problems arise, call SERVPRO of Marquette Park / West Lawn / Ford City at (773) 337-3993 any day of the week.

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