An end terrace house was flooded on the 6th December 2015. The house is solid brick construction with lime plaster, had a DPC and the floors and joists are wood, with air bricks. The flood was unexpected as the Victorian house, which was built in 1893, had never been flooded before.
The flood water entered the house and the flood level was over 12 inches deep. The water receded the following day leaving the fabric of the building sodden. The first recovery step following the flood was to remove floor coverings and wet furniture. There was little else that could be done until the electricity supply came back on a week later. In the period waiting for power to be restored the house was very damp, wallpaper bubbling on the first floor, the smell was unpleasant and a damp grime was everywhere.
On the 23rd December 2015 two IRP4 2.6kw heaters were installed. After the Christmas period the remaining seven IR3 heaters were installed
2 x IR3 in the front living room
1 x IRP4 rear living room
1 x IRP4 kitchen
3 x IR3 hallway
1 x IR3 utility room
1 x IR3 bathroom
1 x Thermodry – understairs cupboard.
Mechanical clock timers were used to run the heaters on 7 hour cycles.
No dehumidifiers were used until the middle of January. These were concentrated in the two rooms with concrete floors.
Paul Higgins explains: The companies specialising in dampness remediation predicted at least 16 weeks drying time for the houses in my area using conventional dehumidifier methods.
When our surveyor visited on the 19th January 2016 she noted how warm the house felt in comparison to those heated with convection heaters and the odour was pleasant in comparison to other houses she had visited.
As the heaters warmed the house we could visibly see the dampness in the walls reducing. Our damp readings on the internal single brick walls showed they were dry inside 7 days. The external walls which are of solid construction and three bricks thick took a little longer.
On Saturday 6th February 2016 our specialist declared the house dry. We confirm that the time taken is 44 days, if not for the Christmas period which slowed down the install it would have been several days less. The far infrared heaters have worked incredibly effectively with great results.