Stormwater Damaged Your Enclosed Back Porch? Dry It With These Tips

If stormwater floods into your enclosed back porch and soaks through the untreated wooden posts and frames that support it, you will need to restore the room fast to prevent mold and wood rot. When stormwater soaks through soft materials, such as untreated wood, it releases pollutants, chemicals and acids that break them down. Even if the wood dries, it sustains permanent damage that places your back porch at risk for collapsing and termites if you don't take additional steps to secure it. Here are tips you can use to dry your back porch's wooden posts and frames.

What's the Best Way to Dry the Porch's Wood?

Because you want to prevent mold and rotting in your wooden posts, you need to dry the back porch with something more powerful than traditional circulating fans and regular air. Although circulating fans and the air that comes through your porch's screens will dry the wood, they take a while to do so. You want to invest in three carpet dryer fans for this project.

Carpet dryer fans are strong enough to use during construction projects that need to remove moisture from frames and other structures made with lumber. The fans come with high-powered motors that won't burn out during operation. In addition, the fans feature long power cords that work well in large areas, such as back porches.

You can find the fans at most hardware, home and garden and retail stores. Just check the home-building or handy-man section of the store you visit. After you purchase the fans, you must place them correctly for the best results.

How Should You Dry the Porch's Wood?

You want to circulate as much air as possible throughout the porch to dry the wooden posts and frames. The position and placement of your three carpet dryer fans are critical to getting this accomplished.

Here's what you do:

  • First, angle or position one of your fans so that it blows across the porch and dries multiple locations at once. You can choose a corner of the porch, or you can place the fan in the center of the porch near the door that leads inside your home. Be sure to leave about extra space between the wall, corner and fan to help it circulate air better.
  • Next, position the second fan directly in front of a screened area with the blades facing toward the porch. This position and placement allows the hot and moist air circulating through the porch to move to the outdoors instead of stay inside it.
  • Finally, place the last fan in front of a screen with the blades facing outdoors instead of indoors. When a fan faces the opposite way or backwards in a room, the blades remove moisture and heat from it better. A number of sources recommend doing this with traditional box fans to cool homes, but you can do the same with your carpet dryer fan and achieve the same great results.

After a few days, check the porch with your hands to see if it's dry. If the wood feels dry on your hands, the fans worked properly. Next, press a thin piece of notebook or printing paper against different areas of the posts and frames of the porch. If the paper appears dry after you remove it, the layers below the woods' surfaces are dry. If the paper appears damp or has spots of water on it, give the room an additional day or two to dry.

If you have specific questions about your porch's water damage or need additional services, contact a water damage restoration contractor..