Tips & Tricks/05.13.24

Know the Basics for Drying After Floods

Cleaning up and drying out after water damage can seem daunting – that’s why we rely on restoration professionals’ expertise. But there are times when responding quickly and correctly to clean water leaks or floods can limit the damage.

Remember: Complex water damage that involves multiple floors, wall interiors, pre-existing mold, or Category 3 (sewage or otherwise contaminated) flood water should only be tackled by IICRC-certified water damage professionals.

Critical First Steps

You have just 100 minutes to get the right start on any water intrusion. Here’s a critical “short list” of essential tasks and the equipment required:

  1. Stop the water source!
  2. Identify and eliminate safety hazards (eg, electrical and contamination issues), put on gloves and boots, and install wet floor signs nearby. Protect furniture from water damage to the extent possible.
  3. Install an initial Dri-Eaz HEPA air scrubber to help protect workers and others in the area (scrubber (eg, the DefendAir 400 for small rooms or HEPA 700 for larger spaces).
  4. Ask: Does the water look and smell clean? If so, proceed! If not, call a certified restoration professional.
  5. Determine how far the water has spread, using a Hydrosensor or moisture meter.
  6. Remove standing water from floors and carpets using HVE 3000 Flood Pumper and Extraction Tool. (Do NOT use a shop vac unless there’s no other option.)
  7. Place dehumidifiers, airmovers and additional air scrubbers, matching the size, type and quantity to the size of the affected wet area (see formulas below).
  8. Monitor drying progress until as dry as similar materials in nearby areas unaffected by the flood, using the Hydrosensor and moisture meter.
  9. Make sure that Dri-Eaz dehumidifier Command Hubs display positive drying trends – ie, that the “GPP” and the humidity levels on the drying trend graph are decreasing after the second day. If not, call a restoration professional ASAP.

The Right Equipment AND the Right Process

Fast drying to prevent mold growth and other damage only happens with commercial drying equipment. You can trust that Dri-Eaz dehumidifiers, airmovers and air scrubbers, long-trusted by water damage professionals, is a solid choice for efficient drying.

Figuring out how much equipment to use isn’t rocket science – some basic formulas can guide your equipment choices for simple, clean flood situations.

  1. Measure the wet room and install the right type and quantity of Dri-Eaz low grain refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers according to this formula (rounding up if a fraction):
    ______ length × ______ width × ______ height = ______ Cubic Feet (CF)
    Dehumidifier options:
    1. CF ÷ 8,000 = ____ Revolution LGR
    2. CF ÷ 10,000 = ____ LGR 6000Li
    3. CF ÷  13,000 = ____ LGR 7000XLi
    4. CF ÷ 17,000 = ____ LGR 3500i
  2. Add more Dri-Eaz air scrubbers (usually one air scrubber per dehumidifier):
    Air scrubber options (for up to 6 air changes per hour):
    1. 4,000 CF = DefendAir 400
    2. 7,000 CF = HEPA 700
    3. 7,000 CF = MediClean AP 700
  3. Install Dri-Eaz airmovers (Velo, Velo Pro, Sahara Pro X4 or Stealth) per this formula:
    ______ length × ______ width = ______ Square Feet ÷ 70 = ____ airmovers

Final Tips

As mentioned above, call a certified restoration professional in cases where floodwater resulted from a “dirty” source, such as sewage, river or ocean water, or if area has been wet for more than 48 hours.

Here are other clues that you need expert help:

  • The wet area smells bad (at any point in the process).
  • You discover pre-existing mold on or in a wall.
  • Water has flowed through ceiling cavities to a floor below.
  • You don’t have the equipment, training or confidence to extract water and dry quickly.

Whether you need quick tips or advanced water damage restoration education, Legend Brands is available by email or live chat.

See Legend Brands' other technical tips for serving customers and growing your business.

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