What we can see here in this Thermal Image, is water which has saturated the plasterboard (dry wall) from the floor above.
The wooden joists can be seen which are the lighter parts in the purple as they are less water logged than the plasterboard. The plasterboard is effectively colder as it has a lower thermal mass than the plasterboard. However, that is not all we are seeing; behind the blaster board, in between the joists is completely water logged insulation (soaked insulation). As the water travels down the wall, the corner of the wall is likely to have metal beading plastered into it. Here, water can sit in the little metal loops of the bead all the way down the edge of the wall. In this instance, the wooden frame of the stud wall here has been outlined as it has been a direct route for capillary action all the way down, demonstrating that it has a greater hygroscopic mass than the plasterboard.
Dry Your Water Damaged House
So! “How do I dry my house’s water damaged area effectively?”
In this circumstance, we have a timber joist ceiling, or floor depending on what floor you are on, with 400 centers, which is resting upon the supporting walls. The walls affected in this scenario are only timber frame, and the water is clean (straight from a burst pipe). In these circumstances, a water damage restoration technician would assess first to ensure that mould was not present. If mould was present then further expert remedial works would be required. However, in this simple situation it is unlikely that mould would be present, and for the purposes of this blog we will assume it isn’t.
Much of the drying can be done by keeping windows and doors open, however this poses a security risk and will result in drafts and a cold home. So, in the UK we normally use dehumidifiers.
These have their down sides too; they are normally fairly noisy, they drain the air of moisture so it isn’t normally very nice to live in the property whilst they are running, and they can make the house rather hot! However, they speed up the drying process to a level which is incomparable to how it would be if left to dry naturally. In this instance, we would angle fans or air movers at 45 degrees to the water damages area and place a refrigerant dehumidifier nearby.
We would then measure, with a Tramex or moisture content reader, an area unaffected by the water damage to determine the original dryness level of the same material in the same property, and use this as our baseline so that we know what to dry the wet area too. Over drying can lead to more complicated problems such as cracking warping and splitting of the walls. Every 48 hours we would check, using the same equipment, to monitor the drying progress. Once dry, we can then remove the equipment and begin the redecoration phase. Water damage often can be dried to its original state, but it is uncommon that stains are not present, therefore redecorating is nearly always required.