Flood Damage in Los Angeles and the Moisture Factor
Removal of Water and Humidity Mitigate Storm Damages
Rainfall this year surprised nearly everyone. It filled the nearby Los Angeles reservoirs, water channels, overflow areas, and kept coming down. At first, we welcomed every drop, but that changed after a few weeks.
Despite the last few years of drought, Los Angeles County has seen more than its usual share of flood damage this year. Spring and Summer rains have flowed over the hard-packed earth and directly into area homes. Standing water usually drains quickly in our area but that does not eliminate flooding problems; it just reveals them to our SERVPRO technicians.
One of the contributing factors to slowing cleanup and restoration efforts is excess moisture. As we work to clean carpets, personal property and repair your home, our team also determines if an Open or Closed system is the best option to lower the humidity to support those actions.
The Open system is efficient for larger areas like atriums and sunrooms. We establish fans at entrances and exits to draw out the inside, damp air and replace it with the warmer, dry air created by the air mover devices we set-up inside the affected areas. The Open system requires higher, outside temperatures to work at its most efficient but if the humidity is not sufficiently lower outside the home, the process slows.
If the affected area is a smaller room (bedroom for example), then our technicians choose the Closed system. We isolate the affected rooms (bedrooms, living rooms) from the rest of the home by securing the doors and windows and sealing entrances with plastic sheeting. Our first action is to set-up dehumidifiers to start drawing water from the air at a rate of 20–25 gallons every 24 hours. Next, if the home’s air conditioning system is usable, we adjust the temperature and air flow to increase the effectiveness of the dehumidifiers.
There are drawbacks to both options. Engaging the air conditioning at the level we need increases energy consumption (and cost) at a much higher rate than normal using the Closed system. With the Open system, a change in weather can stop all work unless the homeowner wants to attempt to switch to the Closed system.
Lowering the humidity in your home is a necessary part of returning your home to its original state. To learn more about this and other aspects of the restoration process, contact us here at SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey / Westchester / El Segundo. Call today at (310) 333-0654; we are here to help.
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