Technical Data for Water, Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration
The local Puroclean office is constantly striving to improve the efficiency and quality of services offered and when possible, introduce cost reduction concepts to the insurance industry. Puroclean has been conducting research and is currently training on a new concept when performing water damage restoration services. This new concept is called the Puroclean QuickDry System, (PQDS) and is based upon four principles.
- The first principle is the thorough extraction of water from carpet and cushion without disengaging the carpet from the tackless strip. This is accomplished by new extraction technology that utilizes weighted motorized compression and simultaneous extraction of water from the carpet and cushion. This maximum extraction only leaves the carpet and cushion slightly damp. The carpet is no longer "floated" with dryers, and any wet personal property remains in the room to dry. This also minimizes customer inconvenience permitting them to remain on the premises. This extraction concept is used on all Category I Clean Water Losses and Category II Gray Water Losses.
- The second is the principle of promoting airflow, utilizing rotomolded dryers that deliver air at high velocity. These structural dryers are placed along every ten to fourteen lineal feet of wet wall space at a forty-five degree angle with the snout of the dryer directly against the baseboard or lower wall area. This placement will create a circular airflow around the room drying the walls, structure, and content. This procedure requires that all affected personal property be placed away from the walls so that airflow is not impeded. The circular airflow creates a low-pressure center where a dehumidifier is placed to collect the incoming water vapor.
- The third principle is dehumidification. Based upon the Permeance Classification System, adequate dehumidification is selected. The Permeance Classification System is a system that classifies materials based upon their ability to move water vapor through them at various rates.
When drying air that contains high levels of water vapor or specific humidity, the dehumidifier is selected based upon the materials affected, and the size or cubic feet of the airspace to be dried. The dehumidifier selected must have an effective Cubic Feet of Air per Minute (CFM) processing capacity that at least equals the required CFM necessary to exchange the air within that specific classification.
Fortunately, most materials are quite porous and will give up their absorbed water content under refrigeration dehumidification. Some materials, however, are hygroscopic or water loving and will not easily give up their retained water content. Consequently, these materials will require Desiccant Dehumidification.
The Puroclean QuickDry System utilizes all drying methods to remove water and moisture levels quickly, thus reducing secondary damage. When water or moisture levels remain too long in structural and content materials, secondary damage occurs. Mold growth commences within 24 to 48 hours after the original claim and is one of our main concerns in relation to secondary damage. Other damages can also result due to slow drying or other improper remediation actions.
The PQDS concept is defined by a simple formula. Based upon the room size and permeance of materials affected, technicians will determine the total cubic feet of wet air to be dried. Permeance is the rate at which water vapor passes through certain materials, thus either hindering or helping the overall drying process.
The Permeance Classification system formula utilizes the total cubic feet of the affected area in determining how many times per hour the air can be processed by a Refrigerate Dehumidifier. Knowing the effective Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) capacity of the dehumidifier chosen and its ability to process the air either once, twice, or three times per hour will determine exactly how much dehumidification equipment is required to dry all wet areas and affected personal property.
Affected area conditions that play a role in drying are total square feet of wet area and the types of materials encountered such as plywood floors or structural framing members. All moisture barriers like paints and vinyl wall coverings require special attention as well. However, in most structural drying conditions affected areas can be dried on the average within three days. Areas with severe structural damage like collapsed ceilings or multiple floor levels will take four to six days. Some materials when wet such as plaster walls, hardwood floors, and crawlspaces could take even longer.
The goal of PQDS is to progressively lower the specific humidity of the air which is the Grains Per Pound or (GPP). This GPP is the actual weight of the water vapor in the air and is the most important number to know if drying is occurring or accomplished. Low Grain Refrigerate Dehumidifiers that can generate dry air at very low grains per pound will be necessary to dry plywood flooring and structural materials.
- The fourth principle of the PQDS is testing and monitoring. Using the science of Psychrometrics, air and wet materials can be tested with Hygrometers and Moisture Meters whereby data can be obtained and recorded to monitor this moisture reduction. Without monitoring there can be no evaluation whether areas are drying at the prescribed rate.
The data is recorded at least every twenty-four hours on a Psychrometric moisture content record for each area tested. Areas tested will be the outside air, any unaffected areas, the affected area, and the dehumidifier air output. The relative humidity and temperature will be recorded and the grains per pound will be computed with the Psychrometric calculator or chart. To insure that they are lowered sufficiently to dry all affected materials, the GPP will be monitored and recorded.
By this systematic approach to drying, the Puroclean QuickDry System can prove that items are drying and will dry faster and better than ever before. The PQDS will also reduce the need for carpet cushion (pad) replacement, costly carpet disengagement and reinstallation, and inappropriate quantities of drying equipment on site. In most cases, wood and even vinyl baseboard moldings can stay intact and kitchen cabinets do not need removed from the walls. At Puroclean, drying has reached a higher level of performance and excellence.
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