Different Types of Humidity Explained by Water Damage Experts
Whenever excessive moisture gets inside a building, the problems it causes are broken down into two categories. When water leaks from a pipe or an appliance, it can contact contents and building materials. Anything that happens due to direct contact with liquid water, such as the carpet's delamination, is considered primary damage. Once water gets inside a structure, it naturally raises humidity levels indoors when moisture from wet materials evaporates into the air. Elevated humidity levels can also cause building materials issues as water transfers from the air to not wet materials to reach equilibrium. When water vapor is the primary cause of the structural problems, they get classified as secondary damage.
Extraction procedures help reduce primary issues, and structural drying helps mitigate both types of problems. When our SERVPRO technicians deal with any water damage situation near South Orlando, we monitor relative and specific humidity. Controlling humidity levels in a structure help speed up structural drying times. Wet materials dry out faster if the humidity inside a building is kept as low as possible using air movers and dehumidifiers. Monitoring and strategic placement of these devices optimize drying times. When we keep humidity levels low, we also reduce water vapor in the air, causing fewer secondary issues.
Relative Humidity (RH) is a measure of how much water is in the air at any given temperature. RH is expressed as a percentage, so if the relative humidity is 100%, then the air is holding as much moisture as it can at that temperature. At this point, if not sooner, condensation can occur inside the building. "Raining" inside your home can only exacerbate the already water damaging effects. Air can hold more water at higher temperatures, so increasing the house's temperature will lower the relative humidity.
The temperature has such a significant effect on relative humidity; it's not always a good gauge of how much water exists in the air. Specific humidity is the actual amount of moisture in the air. When our SERVPRO technicians measure specific humidity, they count the actual grains of moisture in each pound of air. To find specific humidity, we measure relative humidity levels and the room's temperature. We then put these numbers in a psychrometric chart that gives us the grains per pound number.
Using a psychrometric chart can come in handy when rapidly drying structural components. If you ever need help with issues related to water or humidity, call SERVPRO of South Orlando at (407) 985-3200 24 hours a day.