After a “flood” due to a burst pipe or fire damage, it is not enough to simply turn on the heating and dry it with heat. If the air in the wet room is saturated with moisture, nothing can dry. To do this, the excess humidity must be extracted from the room air so that the air can absorb “new” moisture.
Drying devices suck in the moist air and release dehumidified air into the room. The dry air is enriched again with moisture that is given off by wet walls, ceilings, and floors. The procedure, also called condensation drying, is continued until everything is dry. In addition to the condensation dryers, hot plates are often set up – especially if walls are affected by moisture.
The dehumidification takes place:
- with condensation dryers
- with hot plates (e.g., for wet walls)
- by vacuum processes (e.g., when insulating layers or screed are concerned)
What does natural or artificial drying mean?
- In the case of natural building drying, there is strong heating, and the windows are repeatedly opened to allow air to be exchanged. In this way, the newly flowing air absorbs moisture again and is then discharged outside. In the past, this was also done with new buildings, they were “dry living”. In the event of water damage removal, natural dehumidification is no longer an option because of the extremely high energy costs and weather-related periods of humidity in autumn and winter.
- Artificial or technical drying is the process of condensation drying described above. In some special cases, adsorption drying can also be used.
How long does it take until wet wall surfaces and bonded screeds are dry again?
This depends on the size of the room, the extent of the water damage removal and the degree of moisture penetration. If the moisture has spread to the surface of walls and floors, the condensation dryers must run for between five and 15 days until wall surfaces and the like are dry again.
Can I stay in the apartment during this time?
Yes, this is usually possible. The condensation dryers are set up by the technicians within two to four hours. The hoses are usually laid in such a way that they do not interfere too much. The devices are a bit noisy, however. So it is advisable, if the process takes longer, to spend the night somewhere else in the meantime. The devices are designed for continuous operation and can therefore continue to run without hesitation in the absence of people.
How much electricity do the condensation dryers need?
The drying devices are connected directly to the “normal” socket in the apartment. You need 230 V alternating current. Power consumption varies depending on how modern the devices are – usually between 0.1 and 0.7 kWh are required. If the electrical system in the apartment or in the house was destroyed due to water damage removal DC, an emergency supply must be made possible.
The drying was successful. How is the water damage removal going on?
Once the moisture has been banished, the most important part of the renovation is complete. Now the walls are repainted, the floors cleaned or newly laid, holes and damage plastered to restore the original condition.
Does the household insurance cover the water damage?
Usually yes. Most Austrian household insurances include personal liability insurance in addition to water damage, which also covers water damage in the neighbor’s apartment. Depending on where and by whom the water damage was caused, different insurance policies can apply:
- Household insurance covers damage in your own household
- Liability insurance covers damage in other people’s apartments or in the general part of the house, e.g., in the stairwell
- The building insurance takes effect if, for example, the roof is leaking, a pipe explodes in the wall or a fire breaks out outside the home.