WET CARPET DRYING, the Latest Techniques
With today’s drying technology it is possible in many instances to dry wet carpet in place while saving the pad. The key to saving the carpet and pad is advanced weighted water extraction devices and the proper use of dehumidification and air moving fans. And the proof of the validity of this approach is that water restoration companies are reporting successful results using this technique even in high humidity areas of the Texas gulf coast, like Houston. Wet carpet drying using this technique saves the property owner and their insurance company the expense of replacing the carpet pad, and relaying and restretching the carpet. And the proper use of dehumidifiers and air movers also eliminates the need to remove baseboards to effectively dry the walls and wall cavities, which saves additional money by also eliminating the need to reinstall and paint the baseboards.
Before the advanced technology of these new extraction machines, water was extracted from carpet using a typical carpet cleaning wand. No matter how powerful the vacuum was, there was not sufficient pressure to force the water out of the carpet and pad. The next advance was simple weighted tools that did squeeze more of the water out of the pad and up through the carpet, but once on the surface some of it was vacuumed up and the rest ran off and back into the carpet adjacent to the vacuum head. The new weighted water extraction devices are also designed to literally squeeze the water out of the pad and wet carpet and force it to the surface, but once there it is trapped and immediately channeled directly to the vacuum intake. The clear sections of vacuum tubes allow the operator to see when the water flow from the area the machine is over has stopped, indicating that all excess water has been removed. Only then does the operator move the machine forward. The machines are typically self-propelled across the wet carpet at a slow speed dictated by how long it takes to remove the excess water. In areas like closets and stairs, smaller manually operated machines are used. This new equipment removes so much of the water from the wet carpet and pad that the remainder can be evaporated through the use of the appropriate drying equipment.
While these new extraction devices are key to in place carpet drying, the proper use of the right dehumidifiers and air movers are critical. The use of dehumidifiers with low grain refrigerant (lgr) technology, and high volume air movers, is extremely important for thoroughly drying the carpet, pad, and the structure including walls and wall cavities. Lgr dehumidifiers remove much more moisture from the air than older models. The dryer air they produce speeds up the evaporation of the moisture in the carpet, pad, and structure. High volume air movers also increase the rate of evaporation compared to the older lower volume models. The combination of the two makes it possible to dry the structure without costly invasive actions like removing and replacing baseboards, drywall, and insulation. And when used with the new weighted vacuum devices, they also make it possible to perform carpet drying in place without removing and replacing the pad. These advances in drying procedures are saving property owners and their insurance companies much of the headache and cost of drying water damaged structures.