The essence of subfloor drying lies in the process and time.
Time because the longer the drying process takes the more damage will occur. Process because the more efficient the process, the faster the drying procedure.
The speed of the drying procedure when drying subfloors lies in the use of heat. Heat promotes faster drying through evaporation. Fast evaporation is the key to successfully drying of the subfloor void.
Our purpose built trailer mounted ground drying equipment is manufactured in the United States specifically for the fast drying of frozen ground, subfloor voids and inside flooded dwellings.
The machine pumps out enormous volumes of hot air which is circulated in the void via ducting. Large exhaust fans are added into the equation along with purpose specific subfloor dehumidifiers, both of which exhaust the evaporating air into the external atmosphere. If this procedure is commenced with 48 hours of any flood, then mould will not have time to generate. If after this 48 hour time frame, mould generation will still be significantly reduced and stopped altogether once the heat drying has commenced.
Our trailer mounted heating units operate independently of the dwelling as they are diesel fired. In addition, there is a generator on board which can supply power to the portable equipment in use during the heat drying procedure.
The drying procedure is monitored daily using moisture metres (which measure the humidity in the air) and soil moisture penetrometers. In addition surface moisture metres are used to measure the moisture content of any timber present in the subfloor (underside of the substrate or floorboards, joists and bearers). This monitoring allows us to know when the drying procedure has achieved its goals.
In addition, we can introduce subfloor drying via any existing ducted heating system if required. By permanently adding warm air from the ducted heating in the controlled living areas above, combined with cross ventilation, permanent radical changes can be seen in the crawlspace. This can be achieved by ducting air into the crawlspace from the property above using reverse ducts which pull controlled warm air from the dwelling into the crawlspace. This system is only available to some properties that already have existing ducted heating and the subfloor space to install the system.
On assessing a site with moisture issues in the subfloor, we will undertake moisture readings tests uding taking soil moisture readings using purpose specific moisture detection equipment. In addition to the soil test, we test both the crawlspace and the timber floor using non penetrative moisture detecting equipment which isolates and exposes moisture pockets in hard surfaces. We may also use Thermal Imaging cameras (pictured below) which can identify moisture which is not visible to the eye.
If the subfloor moisture is substantial, we will install our powerful subfloor drying trailer or one of our portable diesel fired subfloor heating units which introduce heated air into the crawlspace, promoting moisture evaporation. Our powerful heaters evaporate any subfloor moisture quickly and the evaporated moisture from the subfloor is then condensed by dehumidifiers and pumped from the immediate area into sewers or drainage points. Airmovers and dehumidification equipment are also used to reduce the moisture in the crawlspace before commencing the installation of a subfloor ventilation system.
In most instances, adding warm air into the subfloor crawlspace will be vital to the long term drying of the under floor area. When combined with cross ventilation, the heated air will assist in the drying process.
Rising damp, excessive moisture, buckled floor boards, mould, and musty odours are all symptoms of excessive moisture in the subfloor, often caused by a lack of ventilation.
The presence of moisture in the crawlspace does not of itself mean that a permanent mechanical ventilation system is required.
If the reason for the moisture is preventable and/or caused by an event which is controllable, then a ventilation system may not be necessary. In extreme cases, the subfloor will require stabilising prior to installing a mechanical ventilation system. This is achieved by pumping warm air into the subfloor, installing sub floor dehumidifiers and dehumidifiers in the dwelling as well, in order to dry out the subfloor crawlspace of the property.
Subfloor dehumidifiers are designed to fit into low access subfloor crawlspaces and they remove the moisture vapour from the subfloor.