In this three-part post series, SGB is tackling the critical elements to proper build back conditions, starting with ‘what is dry?’ Because when you are dealing with your biggest investment, it’s important never to assume.
We’re sure you have heard by now, but the dryness of your home is critical to prevent future health and structural problems caused by mold and rot.
Furthermore, there is no timeframe to guarantee something is dry. The time needed depends on multiple factors including; the amount of water in a home, how long the water remained, the outdoor conditions, the size of the home, and the types of materials that got wet.
In an intensely humid climate like Houston, it may take upwards of 4-5 weeks for a waterlogged home to completely dry. However, this time can shorten with professional grade air movers and dehumidifying units.
As you begin the process, keep in mind different materials will dry at different rates. Wall studs will dry much faster than base plates or concrete, especially in homes with water standing for more than 48 hours. Concrete, a primary slab material, is incredibly porous. It slowly drinks up water and is equally slow in releasing it. Due to proximity to the slab, base plates also hold moisture longer.
However, even after weeks have passed and things feel dry to the touch, the only way to confirm is a moisture reader. You can pick up a non-professional grade, pin-type moisture meter at most home and garden stores.
As a reference, quality lumber for a new home typically has a range of 10 – 15% moisture. Talk to your builder or contractor to determine what an acceptable level of moisture is for your home.
Be sure to check back for Part 2- Decontamination & Part 3- Preparation of this series.