alorair commercial dehumidifier

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season: Commercial Dehumidifiers for Flood Prevention

 

Imagine a storm so powerful that it could spawn the destructive force of multiple tornadoes, dump months' worth of rain in a day, and travel for weeks across the ocean, leaving behind hundreds of destroyed homes, businesses, and even lives. That’s the terror of a hurricane. That’s why everyone is sitting up, tracking the weather forecast hoping for some safety.

Hurricanes are powerful tropical storm systems rotating around an area of low pressure, which produces strong winds and heavy rain. A hurricane remains a regular tropical storm until the wind speed reaches at least 74 MPH. The dangerous components can range from just winds to floods to storm surges that may lead to immense damage. Fortunately, scientists have helped us better understand hurricanes and predict their paths helping us to better prepare for them and saving lives.

How to prepare for a hurricane season

Hurricanes can leave entire communities devastated. With hurricanes, you can’t skip preparation, it’s not how you prepare for a flood. Depending on the potential forecasted risk in your area, evacuation might be necessary. Planning is inevitable regardless of your region so here’s your hurricane preparedness list.

Be sure to prepare the following:

   An emergency food and water supply.

   An emergency medicine supply.

   Emergency power sources such as flashlights and extra batteries.

   Safety and personal items.

   Important documents, including medicals, wills, passports, and personal identification.

For more information on hurricane preparation, visit the National Hurricane Center and Ready.gov.

Another aspect of preparation that’s often neglected is the home. let’s be real, not all regions that experience hurricanes get completely devastated. Some people live through the storm which is not advisable while other’s home only gets hit by some floods. Immediately a hurricane or large storm passes through an area, the clean-up begins for homeowners, community leaders, and businesses.

While preventative measures like sandbags and shutters can minimize initial damage, the unseen threat of moisture after the storm can pose a significant long-term risk to your home. In your hurricane preparedness plan, a commercial dehumidifier can come in handy. Here’s why…

Understanding the Impact of Hurricanes on Home Structures

The dangerous components of a hurricane can inflict multiple wounds on your home. Powerful winds can rip off shingles, creating openings for rain to infiltrate your roof and cause leaks. Storm surge and flooding can inundate basements, crawl spaces, and lower floors, submerging them in contaminated water. Even seemingly minor leaks from damaged windows or faulty pipes can lead to significant moisture issues if left unchecked.

The real danger lies in the aftermath. The residual moisture creates a breeding ground for mold growth and causes damage to your property and serious health risks for your family.

Mold Growth: Mold spores are prevalent everywhere, and require a moist environment to thrive. After a hurricane, the damp conditions within your home become a prime target for mold colonization. Mold can spread rapidly on drywall, carpeting, furniture, and other porous materials. This leads to unpleasant musty odors and also poses a significant health hazard.

Health Risks of Mold Exposure: Mold exposure can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and neurological issues. Symptoms can range from a runny nose and itchy eyes to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.  Children, elderly individuals, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to the health risks associated with mold exposure.

Structural Damage: Beyond health concerns, unchecked mold growth can cause significant structural damage to your home. Mold feeds on organic materials, weakening wood framing, deteriorating drywall, and damaging insulation. This can lead to costly repairs and potential safety hazards.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], n.d.], mold can begin colonizing within 24-48 hours after a water intrusion event. Mold remediation can be costly, with expenses varying depending on the severity of the infestation.

The National Center for Healthy Housing estimates a range of $2,000 to $10,000, while extensive structural repairs due to mold damage can easily escalate into tens of thousands of dollars. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences further highlights factors affecting these costs, including the size of the affected area and the type of mold present.

Benefits of Commercial Dehumidifiers in Hurricane Preparedness

Commercial dehumidifiers are industrial-strength machines designed to remove large volumes of moisture from the air. Unlike residential models, they have a much higher capacity (measured in pints of water removed per day - PPD) and operate continuously for extended periods, making them ideal for post-hurricane drying needs.  Here's how they can save your home:

Rapid Drying: The primary function of a commercial dehumidifier is to remove excess moisture from the air. This accelerates the drying process in flood-damaged areas, preventing further water damage and minimizing the risk of mold growth. By creating a drier environment, dehumidifiers help restore your home to a safe and habitable condition much faster.

Large Capacity: Residential dehumidifiers typically have capacities ranging from 30 to 70 PPD, making them suitable for everyday moisture control in bathrooms or basements. On the other hand, Commercial dehumidifiers boast capacities ranging from 150 to 500 PPD or even higher. This allows them to handle significant amounts of moisture left behind by flooding or leaks, drying out large areas effectively. When choosing a dehumidifier capacity, consider the square footage of the affected area.

Continuous Operation: Unlike residential models that require emptying buckets every few hours, commercial dehumidifiers often come with built-in continuous drain pumps and hoses. This allows them to run uninterrupted for days on end until the drying process is complete. This is especially crucial when large volumes of water need to be removed, ensuring efficient and hassle-free operation. Some models also include an automatic shut-off feature for safety when the collection tank is full.

Mold Prevention: By controlling moisture levels, commercial dehumidifiers create an environment inhospitable for mold growth. Mold thrives in damp conditions, and by keeping the humidity below 60%, you reduce the risk of mold spores taking root. This proactive approach protects your home from structural damage, safeguards your family's health, and saves thousands of dollars in future remediation costs. Some commercial dehumidifiers come with built-in air filtration capabilities, further improving indoor air quality by removing dust, pollen, and even some mold spores.  

What to Look for Before Purchase

Before you go on, here are important features your dehumidifier must possess to be effective:

Capacity: As mentioned earlier, consider the square footage of the area requiring drying.

Continuous Drainage: Look for a dehumidifier with a built-in pump and drainage hose for uninterrupted operation, similar to the Alorair models that come equipped with easy and quick drainage hose connectors and heavy-duty condensate pumps.

Automatic Controls: An automatic humidistat allows you to set a desired humidity level and the unit will automatically maintain it, simplifying operation.

Durability and Portability: A roto mold housing (like those found in Alorair dehumidifiers) offers superior durability in harsh environments. Sturdy handles and large-diameter wheels facilitate easy transport within your home for targeted drying.

Monitoring and Management: Some dehumidifiers offer a wide LCD monitor for clear operational data and may even have run meters to track operating time. These features can help monitor progress and manage energy consumption.

Smart Functionality: For added convenience, some dehumidifiers, like certain Alorair models, include smart control apps allowing for remote monitoring and adjustments.

Remember: When selecting a dehumidifier, prioritize features that best suit your specific needs and home environment.

Conclusion

Hurricanes are a force of nature to be taken seriously. While preventative measures like sandbags and shutters can minimize initial damage, the unseen threat of lingering moisture after the storm can lead to long-term consequences. Mold growth, a health hazard that can cause respiratory problems and structural damage, thrives in damp environments.

By incorporating a commercial dehumidifier into your hurricane preparedness plan, you can take proactive steps to protect your home from these hidden dangers. These powerful machines remove excess moisture from the air, accelerating the drying process and creating an environment inhospitable for mold growth.

Investing in a commercial dehumidifier can be a wise decision for safeguarding your home's health and your family's well-being in the aftermath of a hurricane. Consider exploring the range of commercial dehumidifiers available to find the one that best suits your needs and budget. Remember, taking action before a storm strikes is crucial for minimizing damage and ensuring a swift recovery.

Don't wait until a hurricane threatens your area. Take charge of your preparedness today!  Research commercial dehumidifiers and other hurricane preparedness measures to give yourself and your family peace of mind.