Discussion: Heat Drying the Future of Water Restoration?

Posted: 08/25/2011

IICRC Instructor Dennis Klager got a discussion going on LinkedIn on Aug. 14.  with the following post:  “Heat drying is a tool that “all” water restorers will end up using or they will be left behind……….agree – disagree?”  Following are several responses as well as the original discussion so you can read more.

Doug Green of Green Air in Indianapolis:
“Recently dried a 2 story house with basement, with hot water tank leak from second floor, in 2 days with heat compared to 4/5 without.  Downside is the impact of heat on home owners if they are staying in the house that tends to make it impractical in many cases.”

Blaine Parry, Water Operations Manager at Servpro of Edmonds & Lynnwood (Seattle):  “We have all been using heat in one form or another for years – maybe without really realizing what we were doing. You will NOT dry a building without heat – period. It is physics. 

I think the better question is heat to what? Heat the entire home or building or just the wet materials? I have seen a local company around my area setting a 1 million BTU heater called the “incinerator”. No doubt that this would dry a building but is it really necessary to cook an entire building? 

What happens when you pump heat in to a building in the Mid-West in the winter? Is there not a genuine concern of pushing moisture to exterior walls that are cold – resulting in condensation inside exterior wall cavities… 

Directed heat to the wet materials is the answer…in my humble opinion of course!

Lee Senter, IICRC Instructor, Toronto, Canada:  
1) A huge percentage of the people of the industry were certified in WRT and ASD a long time ago and are just plain unaware of a lot of the advancements in drying.They have not SEEN this stuff work, they have just heard about it. Seeing is believing. You also need to learn how to adjust your heat and don`t know how. Many people are under the illusion the heat just pumps in there and things can melt. In the case of my eTES machines we set ours at 97F with exhaust fans that are linked to the machine itself. 

2) Many people believe that heat drying will just cut down on their gravy train profits of LGRs and air movers. With the recent moves by a few insurers to limit payments on drying equipment after the fourth day many are sticking there feet solidly in the ground. There is great fear that if the industry could dry faster that profits would plummet. 
There may be some truth to that.