Drying Buildings


Speed of response

A speedy response to a flood or moisture incident is very important to limit further deterioration in the building and content. The drying out process should begin as soon as possible following the initial moisture intrusion. The longer building materials and structural assemblies are exposed to moisture the deeper it will penetrate into them and the more damage it will cause. This will therefore require more time, effort and expense to dry and reinstate.
Within 48 Hours

  • Lower % water “bound” into materials
  • Easier to ‘evaporate’ water through air movement
  • Likely 40-45% improved drying times

Over 5 Days

  • Potentially a lot more water bound into difficult to dry materials
  • Significant sanitising (re-wetting materials)
  • Likely 20-25% improved drying times

Over 72 Hours

  • More water bound into materials
  • “Clean” losses now need sanitising (re-wetting materials)

First visit

  • Identify the source of the moisture and take corrective action to stop the intrusion
  • Extract any sitting moisture. Extraction is the fastest and most effective method of removing excess moisture
  • Photograph, list and remove any unrestorable wet content
  • Develop a drying plan and install drying equipment to start the drying process


Drying Plan

The drying plan in a property is broken into stages.
Stage one surface water

  • High air flow over wet surface (24 to 72 Hours)
  • Refrigerant dehumidification

Stage two free water (below surface but absorbed in permeable materials like plaster board)

  • Impact of air velocity is diminishing
  • Reduction in airflow
  • Increase temperature
  • Decrease in humidity required

Stage three Bounded Water (trapped in materials with low porosity like concrete, hardwood crawlspaces)

  • Target drying
  • Low Humidity
  • Increase temperature of target material

It is vital that regular monitors are carried out by the contractor to determine the progress of the drying and adjust the setup.
The longer the equipment is allowed to operate, the shorter the drying time will be. If the drying process is not completed thoroughly, serious problems may arise at a later date.

Drying time

It is very difficult to determine the exact length of time it will take to dry the property. That depends on:

  • The length of time the building has been exposed to water
  • The amount of moisture that has been absorbed
  • How deep has the moisture penetrated the fabric of the building
  • Type of materials used in construction of the property
  • How long the equipment is allowed to operate and the correct equipment is installed