Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Whenever a water loss occurs, restoration companies will typically use industry standard equipment to dry any wet materials. On a typical job you will often see moisture meters, dehumidifiers, fans, an extractor and occasionally an air scrubber, depending on the category of the loss. Each piece of equipment is vital to completing the water mitigation job correctly.
These are used to see what materials contain moisture and what materials are dry. Although it is easy to gravitate towards other pieces of equipment on a water restoration job, these are easily the most vital tools to the entire process. Without them you could not accurately determine if materials are wet or dry. In conjunction with moisture meters a thermo-hygrometer is used to determine the moisture contents in the air. Combined, these tools can very effectively help create a strategy to dry wet materials.
A dehumidifier is used to remove moisture from the air. Since most drying strategies involve evaporating moisture out of wet materials, this is a vital tool to keep humidity levels low which helps reduce drying times.
Air movers are used to promote evaporation. They come in a few variety's and typically you will see these tools used the most. Each type of air mover has certain strengths that allow it to excel in certain situations so it's not uncommon to see a mixture of different types used on a water mitigation job. Some common air mover types are axial fans, centrifugal fans (sometimes referred to as snout nose, snail, or squirrel cage fans) and compact radial fans.
An air scrubber, or negative air machine, is used to filter contaminants out of the air. These are often used after demolition when dust particles can be present as well as on category 2 or 3 losses that could have particles present that are not good to breathe. An air scrubber is equipped with a HEPA filter which filters 99.97% and up to .3 microns of contaminated particles out of the air.
An extractor is used to remove any standing water found upon arrival of a water mitigation job. In essence it is a very strong vacuum that is able to suck water out of things such as carpet, carpet pad or floor surfaces when standing water is present. Water extraction is a very critical part of the water restoration process because it prevents water from spreading which can cause more water damage. It also reduces the quantity of water present that will need to be dried using air movers and dehumidifiers. Extractors can come in both portable versions as well as truck mount versions. On top of being able to extract water they are also used to clean carpet.