Ten Questions Every Adjuster Should Ask!

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Do you wonder if the drying contractor who you worked with on your water damage claim really knows what they are doing?

You can make sure that the drying contractors who work on your losses are knowledgeable by asking these questions.

1. Which extraction tool do your use?

When?

There are many types of extraction tools. The “carpet cleaning tool” is the most popular. The most common is the “carpet cleaning wand”, which comes with all truck-mounted units. You will need a self-propelled extraction tool to dry the carpet and pad. Carpet cleaning tools are only effective for glue-down carpet. It’s easier to extract than to evaporate, which is why the extraction tool has such importance.

2. What is the CFM of your truck’s mounted / portable extraction unit?

A truck mount unit is better than a portable unit. You will lose 1 CFM for each foot of vacuum hose 2 inches long. A 1 1/2 inch hose should not be used to extract water. Reduce the vacuum by half the length of the hose. This will result in a 1/3 reduction in vacuum power. This is crucial when drying the carpet and pad. Reduced vacuuming will result in less water being pulled out. This will increase drying time.

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It is 500% easier to extract than it is to extract!

3. What is the best time to float carpet and what are the benefits?

How do you dry carpets that have been left in a structure?

Floating carpet can cause it delaminate and fray at its edges. Carpet that bounces up and down on the adhesive strip can cause fraying and damage to the edges. Imagine if your restoration company could dry the carpet and pad in their place, and lower your claims. Our goal is to reduce the cost of your claims. We can dramatically reduce the cost of claims by drying carpet and pads in place, as carpet and pads account for a large portion of claims costs.

Floating carpet is no longer a good idea. Floating the carpet will slow down drying times.

4. What carpet is most vulnerable to delamination

Are you wet or dry?

Delaminated carpet is usually caused by how it is handled when wet. Carpet can become 70 to 80% less strong when wet, so it can easily delaminate in water damage situations. The chances of carpet delamination are virtually zero if the pad and carpet are allowed to dry completely. Carpet mills have done tests that showed that carpets are stronger after they have been dried in reasonable time.

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5. Which type of dehumidifier(s), do you use?

Why?

There are four types of dehumidifiers that are used in restoration. Only two types of dehumidifiers can dry a structure quickly, according to my experience. It is a waste to spend money and time on the second type of dehumidifier.

1. Standard Refrigerators – Professionals and homeowners sometimes use standard refrigerants with low capacities. They are not designed for heavy transportation, which is what makes them unsuitable for commercial use. If temperatures fall below 68 degrees F, ice can form on the coils. This will cause dehumidification to cease. These dehumidifiers can only pull the moisture grains inside the drying chamber to 55-60 gpp’s (grains per pound). Dehumidification will cease at this point. Energy efficiency is approximately 2-3 pints per Kilowatt.

2. Conventional Refrigerators – Conventional refrigerators have a “defrost” cycle. This refrigerant’s heat pipes are made up of two coils that wrap around the refrigeration system’s evaporator. They are made up of refrigerant and transmit heat around the evaporator. The first heat pipe cools the warm air entering the evaporator. The absorbed heat is then transported to the second heatpipe, which is cooled as the compressor exhausts. This means that the dehumidifier won’t freeze at temperatures below 33 degrees F. They function exactly the same as standard refrigerants. They can also only reduce the gpp’s to 55-60

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3. Low Grain Refrigerants, (LGR), – Incoming air is pre-cooled through re-directing the air from the evaporator through the inlet chamber. LGR’s are able to work efficiently because of this pre-cooling. Heat transfer occurs without any additional energy consumption. LGR’s reduce the moisture levels of the grains to between 32 and 35 gpp’s. They also have a defrost cycle. There are two types available on the market right now. The heat pipe design has an energy efficiency rating of 3-5 to 5-7 pints/kilowatt. The recuperative design is more efficient both in terms of the energy it draws and the water it uses. LGRs with the recuperative design actually draw less electricity than conventional dehumidifiers, blowing more air and pulling more water.

Phoenix Corporation released a low grain refrigerant in 2005 that could also work well in high heat. The Phoenix 200HT. The Phoenix 200 HT is the most efficient refrigerant-dehumidifier currently on the market. Phoenix introduced a performance amplifier in May 2006. It will be used on top of their 200 Max and 200 HT models. The performance amplifier will improve the efficiency of the humidifier by 40-40%. Combining these two products will enable us to dry structures faster and less often than before.

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4. Desiccant Dehumidifiers – Take water out as a gas. Desiccants are best used outside of a drying chamber at low temperatures. High temperatures are not a good environment for desiccants. They can draw the moisture grains down to 10-15 gpps or less. Silica gel is used in most desiccants. This compound is highly absorbent. When drying large structures, such as crawl spaces, wood floors, or large structures, desiccants are a good choice. You should never apply pressure to a crawlspace when drying it with a desiccant. You need to know how and why desiccants are set up correctly, as they can be set up in positive, neutral, or negative ways. A desiccant is the best dehumidifier, but only 1% of drying companies have one. Three main reasons are:

A desiccant will generally cost more than several refrigerants.

Usually, the electrical requirements require an electrician to hook up.

o It takes more time to set up desiccants than it does to set up dehumidifiers.

6. How can you decide how much dehumidification is needed?

We want to make sure that the drying chamber is as small as possible, so we don’t have to use as much equipment. The following are some ways to achieve this:

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Closing doors

Separate areas with plastic

All doors and windows must be closed

Once you have created a drying chamber, calculate the volume of air that must be dried. Then you can determine the size and number of dehumidifiers required to dry it. The next page contains a chart that will help you determine how many and which style of dehumidifiers are required.

7. How can you figure out how many fans are required for a job?

Place fans every 12-16 feet around the room in a circular motion. Fans should be placed at a 45-degree angle so that they are as close as possible to the wall. To ensure that air circulation is not blocked behind doors, it is important to remove them from their hinges. If carpet is present, one fan can be placed in central part of the room, on a stand pointed down.

8. What kind of meters are you using?

Floors

Sub-floors

Walls

Psychrometric Readings

Infrared Thermometer

There are many meters available today. Pinless meters and meters with pins can be used to test materials. Pinless meters are preferred because they don’t damage walls during moisture testing. Other meters include infrared thermometers and hygrometers. They can also be used to check for moisture on carpets. A skilled drying contractor will be able to recognize the differences between meters and how to use them.

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9. Do you use psychrometrics for every drying job?

What does psychrometry have to say about your job?

The psychrometrics will show you the condition of every drying job. The psychrometric chart will not tell you whether the job is dry. It will tell you many things if you keep a psychrometric record for every job.

How well the dehumidifiers are drawing water and working properly

A drying chamber is a good option.

You have enough equipment

The A/C pulling water or not

This chart shows how the equipment performs in relation to the outside world and the unaffected areas.

10. How do you dry vinyl if it has moisture?

How can you dry vinyl wallpaper behind a vinyl floor or vinyl wallpaper?

Most of the time, you will need to remove vinyl from the floor in order to dry it. Most vinyl wallpaper will not dry well behind the walls so you’ll need to remove it. Sometimes, however, you can reach the wall by removing baseboards and blowing up air. The wall will dry much faster if the air is allowed to escape at the top. This will let the water out of the wall and allow you to blow in more dry air. The wall will dry extremely quickly.

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BONUS:

How often do your water damage jobs get checked?

It is vital to inspect the jobs at least once per hour. Fans will need to move around, and homeowners may have questions that should be addressed. All water damage jobs are checked at least once per day. Weekends and holidays are also covered. Sometimes jobs that are near us will be checked twice or three times per day. These jobs dry much faster than jobs in other areas. Even if a company doesn’t do anything else, they can speed up the job simply by checking it every day.