When a home or business has suffered some type of water damage it may be a good idea to consider direct heat application in order to rapidly dry things out in an attempt to preserve as much as possible. The thing that you must remember is that this type of drying method must be done in the correct manner or it is possible you could actually cause more damage in the process. Fortunately, all of that will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
The First Step – Assessing the Damage
Regardless of the source of the water damage or the extent of it, the first thing you will do involves assessing the damage. You need to know exactly how much of that particular structure has been damaged and if possible, try to ascertain the extent of damage involved. Granted, this may not be possible without actually knocking holes in the drywall in order to see how much damage has occurred inside the walls themselves.
Call Your Insurance Company
The first thing you should do after carefully assessing the damage you can see is to call your insurance company. They’ll want to know exactly which portions of the structure are involved and how much damage has occurred.
The next step in the process is removing all items from the room. You’ll want to remove all items that can be safely removed and carefully inspect them for damage. It’s a good rule of thumb to put undamaged items in one category and items that have been damaged in another, physically grouping them together. That way, you can easily photograph the damaged items or show them to your insurance adjuster. In addition, you might also be able to show those damaged items to the professionals who will be drying the structure out. They may be able to help you recover some of those items that you might otherwise have believed to be lost in the flood.
Beginning the Drying Process
One of the first steps that you want to do when it comes to beginning the drying process is to open windows and doors. This will help the drying process go both more quickly and more smoothly, as it allows fresh air to get inside the structure and circulate. For example, you may want to open all of the windows in the affected rooms. If you can, you may consider opening both the front and back doors so that more air can move through the building in its entirety. Some examples include houses that have pets which cannot be otherwise secured or businesses that cannot be safely secured during the drying process with both doors open.
Drying With Direct Heat
This is one of the many methods that can be used to dry an area that has received water damage. It’s one of the more effective methods but if it’s done improperly, it can actually cause more harm than good. You’ll want to find out how many heaters you need before you get started. Typically, rooms less than 25 square feet can be effectively dried with only one heater. For small rooms, open the doors and windows leading to the room and place the heater in the doorway. The heat isn’t designed to reach all the way up the walls, but only about a quarter of the way. Therefore, if you’ve experienced massive flooding that has inundated the room more than a quarter of the way up the wall, it may be best to use a different method. When using this method in the manner described above, you can usually get a room completely dry within 12 to 72 hours, depending on the size of the room, the number of heaters used and the severity of the water damage.
Using Direct Heat on Larger Areas
If you have a room larger than 25 square feet, you’ll need to utilize more than one heater. In general, you’ll want to use one heater for every 25 sq ft of space you’re trying to dry. Larger areas will usually take about to 72 hours to dry out especially in humid conditions. The type of flooring in the room will also affect the dry time. Carpet generally takes longer to dry than tile flooring.