Flood Damage >> Structural Drying

As the materials begin to dry, the small amounts of heat or dehumidification can be introduced to the building. Use of mechanical means will require some caution, none of these mechanical devices should be used when Structural Drying makes their operation dangerous. Ventilation will remain the primary means of removing the interior moisture. . All of these mechanical devices must be used in conjunction with a strict ventilation plan designed to exhaust the moisture-laden air.

  1.  Beware of using heavy industrial drying equipment to remove the moisture at a very fast pace. You are very likely to cause permanent damage to the wood and plaster and if heaters are to be used without ventilation, the relative humidity in the building’s interior may actually increase and the further spread the Structural Drying. If the air heaters are fuel powered, the lack of good ventilation can be very dangerous to the persons inside the building. The enclosed portions of your building, such as the wall cavities, might retain water damage for long periods of time which could pose a danger particularly to the wooden elements such as wall studs, floor joists, and the columns.
  2.  It could be necessary to open the walls and remove the insulation, later sections of this article contain specific recommendations. When the floodwaters recede, you will have to rinse remaining mud, dirt and Structural Drying debris from all surfaces with fresh clean water as soon as possible. It is much safer and easier to remove the mud while it is still wet. Do not wait until the flood damaged material is dry, make sure that all of your electricity is turned off before cleaning with clean water. Avoid using any high pressure water on historic materials and also exercise extreme care when you're washing decorative features and water damaged or loosened elements.
  3.  The silt and mud will slowly accumulate not only on the floor and other furnishings, but in the interior wall cavities as well. Always, be sure to open your electrical outlets and the mechanical chases and rinse these Structural Drying areas thoroughly. Check your wiring and the connections for water damage and repair as required. Let areas thoroughly dry before closing any of them. Check your heating and air conditioning ducts and clean out any silt, mud or dirt before turning on the units. Large air-conditioning systems may need to be completely dismantled or cleaned by a professional.
  4.  To clean any remaining dirt and Structural Drying stains, use a standard non-sudsing household cleaning product as directed by the maker. Extra special care should be used when working on or around historic water damaged materials. After a thorough cleaning, use a disinfectant to kill the germs, bacteria, and odor damage left by the floodwaters. Keep in mind that all floodwaters and the remaining silt are contaminated by raw sewage and toxic chemicals. Protect your eyes, mouth, and your hands, and always wear a mask and rubber gloves when you're cleaning out Structural Drying debris left by contaminated floodwaters. Use industrial disinfectants to wash your hands before you eat.

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