When wallboard is soaked during a flood, there is usually no saving it. Even if you can dry the wallboard, the possibility of mold and contamination is too great to allow you to salvage the walls. In most cases, wallboard is simply ripped out and replaced.
However, there is one technique that specialists such as those at J&M Keystone use to salvage at least part of a wall made of Masonite or other drywall substances: the chimney technique. The chimney technique is a way to salvage part of a wall if the conditions are right in which to do so.
Understanding the Science Behind the Chimney Technique
Air moves from areas of warmth to areas of cold; heat travels. The movement of air currents is dependent upon temperature, this is the science that underpins the “chimney technique.”
A wall is an enclosed space, so there is air inside the wall that can be turned into a drying agent with a slight vacuum effect. The point is to pull the air out of the wall quickly so that the current aids in drying the wallboard. In order to do this, recovery crews will cut a small aperture in the top of the wall, then remove a section of the wallboard at the bottom where it has been damaged by floodwater. This creates a “chimney” effect that allows the wallboard to dry much more quickly.
When Can Wallboard Be Saved?
It is important to understand when wallboard can or cannot be saved. If any floodwater has touched the wallboard, it must be scrapped. This is because floodwater carries a great deal of dirt, debris, bacteria, parasites and other things that can embed in the wallboard and cause a health hazard. Even if you could get the wallboard completely dry, it will likely grow mold and cause a big problem for you and your household.
On the other hand, sometimes flood waters recede quickly, leaving sections of the wallboard untouched. If this wallboard is salvageable, it makes sense to do so in the simplest way possible.
If wallboard is wetted only by clean rainwater, the chimney technique may be a viable option. If wallboard can be quickly dried out and has not come into contact with potential pathogens, home or business owners can save money by salvaging these sections of the walls.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.