Applied Structural Drying vs. Water Damage Restoration
In the 1970s and 1980s, water damage mitigation consisted of vaccuming the wet carpet with a carpet cleaning wand and then leaving a few fans behind for three days.
The IICRC brought more professionalism to the restoration industry by classifying water damage by the cleanliness of the water and by the size of and scope of a particular disaster. The IICRC approved courses and teachers to make industry standards available for mitigation companies and technicians. Individuals could take IICRC approved courses, and upon proving their competence by lengthy written exams, become certified.
Manufacturers developed modern blowers and dehumidifiers that more effectively dried the structure. Over the years, manufacturers have developed new equipment to address special circumstances in Class 4 disasters. Examples include drying out hardwood floors, drying behind and under cabinets, and removing moisture from inaccessible locations. Even so, the IICRC felt a definite need for advanced drying techniques. In addition, there was an obvious need to teach the science behind the Applied Structural Drying (ASD) methods so that reliable results could be consistently reached. The IICRC Water Damage Restoration course is valuable basic training to the water damage technician. All technicians wanting to take the Applied Structural Drying (ASD) course must first take and pass the Water Damage Restoration. ASD takes the guess work out of water damage restoration. It is based on science, and mathematical formulas are used to determine exactly the type and kind of equipment that is needed for outstanding results. Special techniques are learned that give the technican the ability to deal with more difficult and out-of-the-ordinary situations. One of the most important aspects of ASD is daily monitoring and documentation. This allows the technician to
know what is wet
How wet is it (relative humidity, moisture content, etc)
How well it is drying (measuring and adjusting for optimal effectiveness)
When it is dry (calibrated meters do not guess)
Meters measure humidity and moisture content to quantify wetness--no more guessing! Documentation, which includes moisture maps and moisture logs, allows the technician to adjust, add, or remove equipment during the days drying occurs. This assures that the structure is drying correctly and that unnecessary equipment is removed (which saves the insurance company money). Problems are addressed and corrected immediately. On the last day, the technician takes the final moisture readings, which may be used in a court of law to prove that the structure was adequately dry to prevent mold and other secondary damage. In addition to consistent drying results, ASD employs techniques that require little or no demolition. Traditional water restoration techniques often required pulling up (and often ruining) carpet, pulling off baseboards and sheetrock, and often could not save expensive items like cabinets and hardwood flooring. Not only does this save money, but the homeowner does not have to be constantly opening his home to contractors and subcontractors who come to repair the demolition. Althouse Restore is proud to have six technicians that are IICRC certified is Applied Structural Drying. Outside of Althouse Restore there are only one or two technicians with this certification in all of El Paso.