Water Damage

Acme <strong>water damage</strong>, Wet Drywall” width=”144″ height=”96″ /></a><em><strong>Water damage </strong></em>occurs when you have <strong>wet drywall</strong> from a flood ?  It is important to know what your walls and ceilings  are made of in order to understand what happens when they get wet.  In this article I examine modern wall construction where Drywall is screwed or nailed on to wood studs, joists or rafters. Modern day drywall which goes by different names such as plaster board, gypsum board, and wallboard have a core of gypsum with paper on the front and back and 2 sides/ Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral found in nature as calcium sulfate.  As a matter of fact the dunes at White Sands National Monument just out side Alamogordo New Mexico are not sand dunes but dunes made from fine Gypsum particles that are worn off the Gypsum Selenite crystals that are on the Western side of the dunes. There is also synthetic gypsum which is made from a by product of burning coal for energy production called coal ash or fly ash. When hydrated with water it forms Gypsum plaster or Plaster of Paris it is formed into sheets between two layers of paper heated to dry and cut to different lengths. That being said some manufactures have been know to use fillers other then just pure gypsum which could make a difference if your walls or ceilings that a covered with drywall get wet. Back in 2009 there were issues with drywall that were made in China and imported. Testing showed some of that drywall gypsum core contained 5-15% organic materials. So pure gypsum is not organic and will not support <strong>mold</strong> growth.  However the paper wrapper is made from wood pulp and is organic and will support <em>mold</em> growth. When your walls or ceiling get wet a few things happen the paper on the front and back both absorb water.  If there is enough water the gypsum begins to absorb the water and deforms. With in 48 to 72 hours <span style=mold spores which are always present on the drywall can begin to colonize given the proper moisture and heat are present.  As a rule of thumb the relative humidity to prevent most molds should be lower then 60%. It is important to dry out the structure as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. If the walls or ceiling are insulated that presents an additional issue with drying the wet drywall as the insulation holds the moisture against the paper.  Wet insulation should be removed which usually means cutting the drywall. If your drywall has deformed it has also lost its structural strength and fire rating so it should be removed and replaced.  Additionally if it has been wet for more then 48 hours it should be removed.  The standards that regulate the industry call for the drywall to be removed 2 feet beyond the last visible sigh of water damage to ensure all the wet materials have been removed. It should be noted that the structure (the wood that makes up the frame of the wall florr or ceiling has also gotten wet and need to get dried out as soon as possible. Note: you can not use your hand to test if drywall is dry.  Even if the surface appears to the touch dry it still can be wet enough to support mold growth. Additionally the drywall needs to dry front back and all the way through. Buy, Rent, Borrow or get a qualified remediator to use specific equipment to make sure the materials effected are “dry”.  Here at Acme water damage we use either a Protimeter or Tramex Moisture Meters. water damage restorationmold removal     carpet cleaningmold Dry is a relative term, a professional remediators job is return the structure to its pre-loss condition.  If a similar constructed building that has never had water damagemeasures 12% on any specific day then 12% becomes the relative “dry” number the remediator’s goal.  Over drying a structure can cause a whole different type of damage. Relative Humidity (RH) is different then moisture content.  RH is the amount of water vapor in the air, at 100% the air can not hold anymore moisture. The actual amount of water per cubic foot is temperature dependant. The common conversion for the Moisure Content (MC) of wood structure’s relationship to Relative Humidity is 65% RH equals about 12% MC.

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