What dries out first during a water loss?

Short answer: Your carpet

Long answer: Have you ever seen techs from a water damage restoration company and thought to yourself “I could do that, I know when things are dry”? Well, if you haven’t, we can guarantee that someone at some point has. During a water mitigation, one of the first things (if not the first thing, aside from non-porous surfaces) to dry out completely is your carpeting. However, just because your carpet is dry to the touch, doesn’t mean that the job is done. Here are just a few things that are NOT dry, when your carpet FEELS dry to the touch.

Carpet padding and underlayment, both of which can hold onto moisture much longer than expected, tend to be a big surprise, considering that carpet itself can feel dry. Even a bit of moisture left in the padding can create a fertile breeding ground for microbial growth, which is why we stress the importance of allowing our drying equipment to work fully.

Drywall, which continues to wick moisture up the walls, even after water in its’ surrounding area is cleaned up. Unless properly dried out, drywall provides a perfect platform for mold, with organic material and a source of water to feed off. We also like to add “behind baseboards” in this category because they go hand-in-hand. When water is trapped behind baseboards, it tends to also be trapped against the drywall behind those baseboards. Both materials create a dark, moist atmosphere

Kitchen Cabinet bases are particularly susceptible to sustaining long term water damage if not dealt with properly. Like drywall, cabinetry tends to wick up moisture and hold it in dank areas, where mold can feed off the organic wood materials and the water stored within them.

Luckily, all these problems can be solved with a little patience and allowing the drying process to follow through to completion. In cases such as the kitchen cabinets, specialty equipment such as the InjectiDry system might be brought in to speed up the process, but, that’s a blog post for another time!

When all is said and done, if allowed to finish completely, drying out water damage doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Even when your carpet feels dry, allow the experts at IRS to take readings and make determinations of courses of action in order to make sure your home is safe, dry and done right the first time.