Cincinnati Water Damage: Article About Correctly Drying Flooded Historic Properties
The single most important step after a flood is drying the home out. A properly executed "dry out" will make a huge difference in how much of the historic property can be preserved. Experienced Cincinnati water damage companies know how to dry a historic property out without causing any unnecessary damage.
All standing water needs to be removed from the home before drying can begin. If the basement is still flooded, that moisture will seep throughout the entire home and counteract any drying that is occurring. Soaked furniture and other items need to be removed, as well as any wet insulation. Insulation that has been soaked is effectively ruined because it won't dry before mold starts to grow. The electricity should always be turned off before draining water from HVAC ducts and mechanical equipment.
A contractor experienced in water damage remediation in historic homes knows that forced drying is never recommended in these properties. Using heated or air conditioned air to speed up the drying process will exacerbate existing damage and cause more harm to the home's original woodwork. The best way to dry the building is through natural ventilation.
The water damage experts at Griffin Contracting and Restoration of Cincinnati OH can assist you with any questions regarding flooded basements or sump pump back ups.
Allowing the home to slowly and organically dry out will reduce wood warping and cracking of original plasterwork. Forced drying will bring excessive moisture out through plaster and wood, creating irreparable cracking and expansion of these unique features. Once all sodden debris, furnishings and insulation are removed, homeowners should open the windows and doors to the home to allow fresh air to circulate. Window fans can be used in moderation to draw fresh air in and blow humid air out.
When it comes to drying wood floors, a slow process will ensure the best results. Tongue and groove flooring warps easily, so slowly drying and shoring the floors will reduce the warping. Usually as the wood dries slowly, any warping will disappear completely. Forced drying will create uneven drying that leads to permanent cupping and disfiguration of the wood. If the floors wind up with cupping, sometimes they can be sanded back down to their former shape, but this should only be performed by flooring professionals.
Unfortunately, the natural drying method will take an extended amount of time, but slow is always better when historic materials are in danger of being ruined forever. Most features in historic homes can never be replaced, and homeowners of these properties strive to protect what they can.