When a flood occurs, it is preferable to deal with it fast. Water tends to move quickly and is capable of moving in unexpected directions, so a rapid response is preferable to prevent as much damage as possible.
A few weeks back, Green Man were called out to deal with a Cat 2 escape of water in a Georgian block of flats in Clifton, Bristol.
Stage 1: The survey
Although reaction time is important, a thorough initial survey is vital. At this stage, we gather as much information about the flood- how it started, where it came from, the type of water, how long it lasted. From a thorough understanding of the cause, we can then begin to put together a viable drying strategy.
At this stage, we also use a variety of moisture detecting equipment to take readings. This is the only way we can ensure we are able to monitor how the drying process is proceeding.
Stage 2: Extraction of flood water
We now use powerful water extraction equipment to recover as much water as possible. In this instance, because the flood was recent & was pure water from the mains, we are using a large commercial carpet cleaning machine. We moved the furniture off the affected areas as much as was possible. The decision about which items were or were not recoverable was not ours in this instance.
The images here is of one of the flats below the flood. The volume of water and force of gravity were quite sufficient to mean that the water moved laterally across the floor above and fell into this flat through the light fixtures.
The water has also soaked through the wall in this image…
How do you think you dry a wall?
The answer is: it depends what it is made of. The main wall affected by the flood in this instance was constructed of cinder block with plaster.
This type of initial extraction is able to recover a large amount of water from non permeable surfaces, or areas (like carpet) which will release the water as easily as they absorb it.
Stage 3: Install drying equipment.
This job required a large commercial dehumidifier and 2 air movers in each affected room. Drying is accelerated through increasing the heat and air movement to promote evaporation. Once we can begin to get evaporation occurring, we can recover the moisture using a dehumidifier. Without this equipment, moisture that is trapped within materials such as brick, wood and plaster will remain where it is and cause secondary damage. Once everything had been set up, we returned to monitor the drying every three or four days.
After about ten days, we took final moisture readings which indicated all the affected structures were dry to a satisfactory point. We cleaned the carpets with a biocidal solution to ensure that mould would not have any chance to develop. We were then able to remove the drying kit & declare the flats dry and ready for redecoration.
Thank you for reading.
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