Training Your Technicians on Proper Drying Procedures

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Drying out a structure can take days to weeks depending on the size of the building and the extent of the damage. Teaching your technicians on proper drying procedures will ensure the structure is dried as quickly as possible and limit any secondary damages. 

To teach your technicians the proper drying procedure, you need to understand the drying process, learn how to assess structural drying needs, gather the right equipment and procedures, and take the proper steps to complete the process.

Understanding Drying Procedures

Drying out a structure takes time. The structure needs to be completely dry before we can restore and rebuild. This can take a few days of intentional drying practices.

It's important not to rely on fans alone when drying out a structure because they blow moisture around instead of drying it up. Fans will only increase the wet spot, potentially spreading across a larger area, rather than evaporate it completely. You'll need to make sure that your technicians understand this concept as well so they know how to effectively use fans during this process.

How to assess structural drying needs

  1. Check for water damage. Look for obvious signs of water damage, such as swelling or stains. These are good indicators you will need to take steps to dry out the area before moving forward with any restoration services.
  2. Check for mold and mildew growth. Not all instances of moisture mean mold is growing in your home—there are other types of fungi that can cause similar damages if it gets too humid inside your house. In most cases, you will be able to detect this type of growth by looking at the surface where it grew. You could notice a fuzzy white substance growing on it called efflorescence. This kind of growth could be harmless, but you will need to make sure it’s not mold. 

Equipment and procedures

The most important factor in drying a structure is airflow. To maximize airflow, technicians should:

  • Use air movers to increase air velocity and airflow rate. Air flow refers to the speed of air moving through an area and can be measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Air velocity refers to how fast the air particles move through an area and is measured in feet per second (FPS).
  • Use dehumidifiers with high-efficiency particulate arresting filters (HEPA) that can remove damp air, dry it out, and release it back into the atmosphere.
  • Use vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters when cleaning up debris from floors or carpets. Vacuuming will stir up dust particles into the air, which could settle back down onto moist or damaged surfaces without the proper filter. 

You need the right equipment and proper procedures in order to properly dry a home or business:

  • Properly sized dehumidifiers (for example, dehumidifier size based on gallons per day)
  • Properly sized air movers (for example, air mover size based on cubic feet per minute)
  • The correct amount of outlets for each piece of equipment used during the drying process (for example, number of outlets needed for each drain line connected to a dehumidifier)

Steps to Drying a Structure 

Step 1: Seal off areas from further water intrusion, if possible

When you find water damage, you should seal off areas from further water intrusion immediately. Start with shutting off any nearby faucets and valves, or even using duct tape to keep them closed. If there are no valves in the affected area, use fans instead to draw air out of the room and create a vacuum effect. This will prevent any remaining moisture from entering through cracks and crevices.

Preventing any further penetrations of moisture into adjacent areas should be a top priority; whether those be below or above ground level (such as attic spaces). This includes sealing around pipes that go through walls/floors/ceilings, so you can avoid more water to seep into those areas either directly or indirectly. 

Step 2: Establish containment areas

Containment areas are a key component in the drying process. These areas are where materials, used equipment and other items go during a water restoration job. It's important to make sure your technicians are keeping these areas separate so they don't contaminate dry materials or cause mold growth.

The size of your containment area will depend on how much material you have and how many technicians you're working with. If there's a lot of water damage, we recommend having two or three different bins set up: one for drying materials, one for salvaged items, and one for items that need removal from the property.

Step 3: Set up equipment and dehumidifiers

Whether you're in a residential home or a commercial building, the equipment will be set up in the same way. Air movers and dehumidifiers are placed in the most effective set up within the affected area. 

Air Movers

Air movers need to be placed in a way that creates air circulation in the damaged areas. Depending on the size of each room, you might need several air movers. You should consider placing air movers in particularly soaked spots when getting started. 


Technicians need to place dehumidifiers in an area where they have access to fresh air (near windows or vents), so they don't overheat while operating. Let the equipment run continuously until all visible water has evaporated or dried up into clumps on the surface. This step in the drying process could take days depending on how much water is in the carpets or structure. 

Teaching your technicians proper drying procedures will ensure the structure is dried as quickly as possible and limit any secondary damage. Understanding the drying process, learning how to assess structural drying needs, gathering the right equipment and procedures, and taking the proper steps to complete the process will help you create a strategic drying procedure for your team. 

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