Building service contractors need to appraise the situation before the drying process begins. The first step is determining the water source and making sure to turn it off or stop it, says Cooper. Afterwards, he says to inspect the structure and source of the water. The category of the water influences how the carpet will be dried — or if it’s even salvageable.

The ANSI/IICRC S500: 2015 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (Fourth Edition) lists three categories of flood water.

Category 1 is clean water with no contaminants — what comes from a broken pipe or pure rainwater. Also, the carpet needs to have been wet for less than 48 hours or the water category may fall to the next level.

Category 2 is greywater that has been contaminated. Some sources include laundry or warewashing machines and toilet overflows with no solids. In these cases, the padding must be replaced, but the carpet can be saved.

Category 3 is blackwater that’s full of pathogens and other harmful materials. Possible culprits include sewage, toilets, flooding from seawater, rivers, streams and water carried in by hurricanes. In this case, the carpet is considered ruined and should be replaced.

After identifying the severity of the situation, inspect the surroundings before starting any work, says Griffin.

“What equipment can you use and what won’t you be able to use?” he asks. “What type of facility are you in? Healthcare facilities and office buildings get different treatment.”

Drying System Selection

Utilizing the drier, outdoor air instead of employing humidifiers is called an open drying system, says Bruce DeLoatch, owner of The Cleaner’s Coach in Norcross, Georgia. With closed drying, he says, the structure is closed off — doors and windows shut — and dehumidifiers and sometimes the building’s heating, venting and air conditioning system are used to dry the carpet.

“There are three basic drying systems we can employ; one is the open drying system, the second is the closed or mechanical drying system, and the third is a combination drying system,” says DeLoatch. “The combination system is usually applied at the beginning of a job and generally involves opening up the structure to bring in drier outdoor air and exhaust indoor air. Once the environment is stabilized, dehumidifiers take over the process and finish the job.”

When the air outside is wetter or more humid than what is being sucked out of the carpet, a facility needs heat or dehumidifiers. The humidity in the air can also affect how long it takes for the carpet to dry if an open system is used.

The next decision focuses on what kind of equipment is needed, and how many units are required for each setup.

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Assessing Damage For Proper Carpet Restoration
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