Water Damage Restoration

How SoCal Removal Uses Science to Dry Buildings in Orange County, CA

In mid to large size water damage losses, psychrometrics play a huge role in how effective your mitigation contractor can be. It’s about the science and engineering of converting a liquid into a gas. In this case, water vapor is a gas and water is a liquid.
In 2014, a childrens clothing store at the Irvine Spectrum shopping mall had a significant fire sprinkler supply line leak which occurred over night. We quickly arrived on scene and physically removed as much free standing water as possible with vacuum extractors. Gallons of water unreachable to us inside wall cavities and cabinetry needed to be dried immediately to prevent the growth of mold colonies. We promoted evaporation as much as possible by drilling small holes and injecting air into crevices and walls. The large emergency mitigation project properly dried out in a record breaking 4 business days. Without proper knowledge of how psychrometrics work, it could have easily taken another contractor a week or more.
Heating up the ambient air inside the building or structure allows for greater evaporation by increasing the amount of water vapor that can be held by the air. Naturally the air movers and dehumidifiers create heat in a building which is sufficient in raising the dew point. With a higher dew point ability in a building a greater amount of water vapor can be evaporated. Water vapor in an environment is calculated by weight in grains. Grains is the imperial system way of measuring moisture in the air.

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Water Damage Structural Drying after a Building Flood. What’s Involved and What to Expect:

The warmer the air, the greater the amount of water removal potential. The sweet spot can typically be in the 80-90 degree range says Andre Abajian. After that point particular types of dehumidification equipment becomes less efficient. Water damage structural drying is having the ability to understand and apply science when handling a flooded property. The balance of air flow, heat, and evaporation become key elements to the project. When your home or office is flooded with water, SoCal Removal utilizes the science of psychrometrics to ensure all restoration efforts are making the most impact. This keeps drying equipment accountable and efficient.

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Why SoCal Removal for your Water Damage Restoration Irvine

It takes more than just plugging in some fans and equipment to dry a home or building. SoCal Removal is certified in structural drying and water damage restoration by the IICRC. This allows us to correctly know what building materials can be saved or discarded accordingly from the beginning. By measuring and monitoring results each day, SoCal Removal understands the science of psychrometrics and apply as needed. You shouldn’t have to hire a mold remediation company down the road because your water damage mitigation contractor didn’t properly dry out your home from the last burst pipe incident. We can assist in locating a leak, drying rooms and wall cavities as needed. SoCal Removal can easily demolish interior walls and remove unsalvageable wood flooring that has been warped.

Classes Of Water Damage / Rate Of Rvaporation

Each Emergency Water Damage intrusion involves different materials, a different source of water, and a different quantity of moisture — and each situation requires a unique and specific equipment set-up.  Our main tasks as your professional restoration contractor is to physically extract as much water as possible, lower the humidity, increase air flow, create drying chambers, salvage and remove personal items, use science when possible to aid in structural drying.  The key when determining how much equipment to place initially is in knowing the potential structure evaporation rate.  If the structure evaporation rates are slow, less equipment will be needed to remove the boundary layers and moisture from wet surfaces.  On the other hand, if evaporation is rapid, SoCal Removal will apply more dehumidification and air movement as needed to deal with the moisture being removed from the wet building materials.

A flooded structure will often contain areas and materials of both rapid and slow evaporation, presenting a variety of drying challenges.  When this is the case, a variety of systems are employed by SoCal Removal, each tailored to a specific challenge.

SoCal Removal will determine the equipment needs by water classifying each project accordingly from the start.  The classifications of moisture evaporation are based upon the amount of water present and the type of material affected.  Equipment types and quantities are then determined based upon the potential rate of evaporation defined by each class.

Class 1

With a Class I water intrusion, evaporation will progress at a slow rate because there is minimal water present in the structure.  Class 1 intrusions involve only a part of an area, or involve a larger area that has only been lightly affected.   In a Class 1 loss, there is little or no wet carpet or cushion; typi­cally, only low porosity materials (such as plywood, concrete and structural lumber) are affected.  Some examples of common Class 1 water intrusions are:

  • A concrete basement floor that only absorbed a small amount of water.
  • A structure that was recently affected by sewage and all wet porous materials were removed.
  • Losses where carpet and pad have been removed and there is no wet drywall or sheetrock. In a Class 1 intrusion, the moisture laden

Class 2

With a Class 2 water intrusion, evaporation will progress at a faster rate because there is a large amount of water present in the structure. Class 2 water intrusions involve damage to entire areas of carpet and pad. Water may have wicked up the walls but is less than 24″ high, and structural materials are wet. Porous and low porosity materials are affected. Some examples of common Class 2 intrusions are:

  • A loss that includes wet carpet, underlay (pad, cush-ion) and gypsum wicked less than 24″ (61 cm).
  • A structure that was affected by Category 2 water (gray) and where the underlay (pad, cush­ion) was removed, but wet carpet, drywall and structural materials remain.
  • Structures with no wicking on walls but where the carpet and underlay (pad, cushion) is being dried in-place.

In a Class 2 intrusion, moisture laden boundary lay­ers will be present around all wet porous materials because of the fast rate of evaporation. Therefore, Class 2 losses require more equipment than Class 1. Since evaporation is fast, more dehumidification is needed to keep a balanced drying system.

Class 3

With a Class 3 water intrusion, more water is present than with any other class; therefore, evaporation pro­gresses the fastest. Class 3 water intrusions involve damages to entire areas of carpet and underlay (pad, cushion). Moisture has wicked up the walls more than 24″ (61 cm), water may have come from above, and/or wet insulation may be present. There are wet structural materials present, along with great amounts of wet porous items. Some examples of class 3 losses are:

  • Strong winds damage the roof and rain enters from above, saturating ceilings, walls, flooring materials and structural items.
  • Second floor water supply failure saturates entire areas below with large amounts of water (second floor could be Class 1 while the main floor would be Class 3).
  • Overhead water supply pipes malfunction, satu­rating entire areas with large amounts of water.
  • In a Class 3 intrusion, moisture laden boundary layers are present around all wet porous materials because of the fast evaporation and amount of water present. Class 3 water intrusions require the most drying equipment of all; more dehumidification is needed to ensure a balanced drying system.

Class 4

These is the rarest class when dealing with water damage mitigation.  A Class 4 water intrusion results in a specialty drying situation. Typically, wet materials present in a Class 4 situation have very low porosity. Desiccant dehumidification and crawl space portable diesel furnace drying unit are examples of tools and equipment needed for these projects.  Water has saturated deeply into the class 4 materials and will require very dry air to return to pre-loss condition.  Building materials that are common to Class 4 intrusions include hardwood, plaster, brick, deeply saturated concrete, deeply saturated ground soil and stone.

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