Structural Drying: What is it?
Structural Drying is a strategy for drying building materials that promotes decision-making based on real data measurements taken at the job site.
More specifically, it incorporates psychrometry – the science of drying – to track moisture content, drying progress, and verify job completion.
In most cases, this method uses more equipment to dry a structure faster while reducing the costs, time, and inconvenience related to replacements and repairs.
Restorers can use Structural Drying techniques in any type of water damage. Whether you pull the carpet and pad or leave it in place, Structural Drying strategies are based on the solid foundation of proven drying principles.
Advantages of Structural Drying
- Jobs dry faster to save you money
- Provides documentation and data that measures drying progress and confirms job completion
- Verifiable documentation and data help close the claim for good.
In-Place Drying: What is it?
Structural Drying lays the foundation for In-Place Drying.
A Category 1 loss involves fresh water from potable source like a washing machine, tub or faucet.
However, even a clean water loss can quickly escalate to a Category 2 “gray water” situation in less than 72 hours due to microbial activity in the environment.
To take advantage of the benefits of in-place drying, it’s critical that you act quickly by contacting a qualified restorer ASAP.
Applied Structural Drying: What is it?
Applied Structural Drying is a certification recently issued by the (IICRC) Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
This certification distinguishes restorers who have completed an intensive hands-on course in how to dry complete structures.
It’s called Applied Structural Drying because students actually “apply” new drying techniques as they learn them.
What is ISDT?
ISDT stands for Intelligent Structural Drying Technology. ISDT is not a single feature, but a comprehensive approach to designing and building equipment for restorative drying.
intelligent design, construction, materials, performance, portability, refrigerant technology, processor controls, self-diagnostics, defrost system, energy-conscious operation, safety certification and intelligent service access
The Vortex Drying System
The Vortex Drying System (VDS) is a SYSTEM for drying structures Step-By-Step, from start to finish covering every aspect needed to complete the job quickly and completely.
To better understand its effectiveness, one must first learn its purpose:
- To completely dry the structure, regardless of class or category
- And to dry the structure as rapidly as possible.
- With the objective of minimizing replacement costs to the structure and contents.
There are many major differences, with intricate reasons behind them, which answer the question of why it works better. But from a building owner or manager’s perspective, here’s how they stack up:
1. The first difference is EFFECTIVENESS.
Most companies think that if they simply put equipment on a job, that it has to dry. And while it is true that wet will always go to dry if it can, taking this approach might take a while.
The VDS will COMPLETELY dry the structure… PERIOD. No matter what kind of water damage it is: Black, Gray or Clean, or how much water there is or how big an area is involved: Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 the system can be utilized on EVERY drying job to completely dry the structure.
The fact is that most companies pull their equipment off of a job with the structure still wet. Whether it is because of embarrassment, lack of training, or an inability to do the job correctly, these companies are jeopardizing the health of the occupants, the health of the building, and your pocketbooks.
The reason we have a mold problem today is because most companies in our industry have a drying problem.
VDS companies have been trained to inspect all components of a structure to check for moisture, and have been educated in the best ways to dry them.
Whether it is drywall, flooring, sub-flooring, ceilings, multiple stories, brick, concrete, plaster, structural wood or crawlspaces; when a VDS company pulls their equipment off the job, it will be dry.
2. The second difference is SPEED
There is a lot of talk today about “3 day drying” in our industry. While we see the marketing potential for such claims, the fact is that it is a farce.
We agree that it should be possible to dry most structures in 72 hours, but some materials take in water slower than others, and release it slower as well. VDS companies do not “guarantee” 3 day drying bills.
They guarantee that the structure will be dry as rapidly as possible. And on the average it is
two to three days faster than conventional
drying methods. (At their best…)
The reason for this discrepancy is three-fold:
1-Superior Equipment- The best and most efficient the industry has to offer.
2-Superior Techniques –
a. The Drying Chamber – Setting up the affected environment for optimum drying.
b. Monitoring & Psychrometrics – Ensuring a controlled drying environment.
3-Superior Training – Continuing education; Learning from the best to adapt drying techniques and methods to the most current science of rapid structural drying.
What would happen if you had to work today with the equipment and technology that your industry used 20 years ago? Even a 10-year regress would be stifling.
The computers, their programs, networks, the internet, communications all would be gone.
Typewriters and triplicates would be your weapons, and you would be hating life! This probably sounds crazy, but it’s a pretty good analogy.
The computer industry and the restoration industry are roughly the same age (in mainstream application) and the advancements in both have been astounding.
There is no way in the world that you would ever go back to using your IBM 286 computer or your Apple IIe for your business. It is not to say it couldn’t be done, but think how much less effective you would be than if you were using your current state-of-the -art equipment.
YET, the majority of companies working in our industry are still using the same type of old – outdated technology that we had 20 years ago!
The VORTEX DRYING SYSTEM is independent of any ties to manufacturers or distributors. It tests the equipment that is available to contractors and gives them an unbiased evaluation of how they work on the job.
Companies on the VDS NETWORK buy and utilize only the BEST equipment on the market today!
People make such a big deal about leaving in carpet and pad that have been water damaged. The VORTEX DRYING SYSTEM is NOT out to save carpet and pad.
Its purpose is to dry structures as rapidly as possible, no matter the class or category of water damage, with only the necessary replacement of structural components.
Through our research of drying, we have found that with our SYSTEM it is possible today to dry and save many of the structural components (and contents) that in years gone by had to be replaced.
One of the key ingredients to this process has been the introduction of “The Drying Chamber.”
Setting up a “Drying Chamber” refers to the process of isolating the wet area of a structure, placing in the chamber ONLY the equipment it takes to dry that area, and then pulling the grains of moisture in that area down lower than the unaffected areas around it.
Simply stated, if the air inside the affected area is dryer, the moisture inside the structure will have to come to it.
If a company is drying a 2000 square foot space where only an 800 square foot section is wet, it makes sense to block off the wet area from the other 1200 square feet of space that is dry.
It might be as simple as putting up plastic or closing a door, but by isolating the wet area our companies are able to place within the Drying Chamber the equipment it takes to dry only 800 square feet instead of 2000.
Our water damage services are provided 24 hours a day by certified and highly trained technicians. We carefully select our staff creating a team that is passionate about the work that they do.
Intensive in house and on the job training is ongoing from day 1. The staff goes through a 6 month period of education and attend both IICRC certificated classes as well as the 3-day Vortex Drying Method school in Tennessee.
This is where they get to flood and then dry a two-story house!. Here the “mullets” as their affectionately called go through 14 hour days of classroom and hands on work followed by testing before earning their certification.