A Dry Building Is A Happy Building
How to Dry a Structure...
Let it air dry naturally. This works well if you do it during the summer, there wasn't much water in the structure and you have long stretches of nice hot dry weather, preferably breezy. The drawbacks are two...first chances are your structure will grow if it is enclosed and those materials may degrade structurally in areas such as crawlspaces without airflow help (see the rental department for help in that area!). It is also very time consuming. The good part is, it is cheap if you have the time. Doing this during the cold or rainy season? Might as well go to Vegas because you live to gamble. The evaporation potential is just too low and you'll leave moisture inside the materials which should be driven out.
Inside the house, turn up the furnace. Typically used on new homes. This method is a big source of business for us and we want to thank the people who use it, it has paid many a mortgage payment. Think about it...a furnace is designed to circulate the air within a house. If you heat the structure up and vaporize all the moisture...where does it go? In addition, this does nothing for the wet zones like attics and crawlspaces but provide some additional growth heat. Also, a weekend or even a week isn't enough time to get the heat thru the un-insulated structure...and you DO dry out before you insulate and close up the walls don't you? A house furnace simply doesn't have the BTU or airflow capability to heat and dry an uninsulated structure and you must dry the structure BEFORE insulating and drywalling or you'll trap all the moisture in the walls and give us a nice large contract in a few months.
Use Portable tube heaters. Also known as direct fired heaters. THIS IS DANGEROUS! Not only is is incredibly inefficient because for every gallon of fuel a direct fired heater burns, it outputs a gallon of water...which defeats the purpose of drying, but these heaters output dangerously high levels of toxic carbon monoxides gas and some really awful smelling fumes. Heating or drying a structure with a direct fired "construction heater" is akin to closing your garage door and starting your car for a long time. There are also serious liability issues involved (what as a kid, you never snuck in and played in a house being built?). Last but not least, there have been numerous stories of homes burning down because of this type of heater. Using one to dry out a structure is a BAD idea.
Run Electric Heaters. Good clean source of heat...but there are several problems here again. What happens to the moisture? It circulates in the structure. Most do not have much in the way of airflow. They are insanely inefficient and need absolutely hellacious amounts of power to run them, they are not good for attics and crawlspaces because they can't be ducted. And they are a fire hazard if not properly placed.
Use indirect fired rental diesel heaters. Now we are getting someplace. An indirect fired heater puts a of clean heat into the structure and it gives you a flow of air thru to help remove the moisture driven out. The problems are several. First, diesel is toxic. Spill it on the site and you have a toxic spill liability. Second, it stinks and spews tons of pollution into the air. Third, most of the rental units have modest CFM airflows. Also, your typical rental indirect fired heater runs about 10 hours before needing to be refueled. You must keep a continuous flow of heat into the structure or it won't dry properly...so you may be looking at refueling them 3 times per day and that means getting out there in the middle of the night and early in the morning to put diesel or kerosene into a heater. Oh...and they are big and heavy so you'll more than likely be paying delivery fees. To get the same drying effect as our Bio-Dry trailer, figure on renting three to five rental units at $250 per day plus the hose, plus delivery and pickup fees.
Use a large desiccant structural drying unit. These work great! But...they are either propane or NG which must be available onside...or they are electric and require so much power you have to have a huge generator onboard which makes an insane amount of noise. Also, they cost a bloody fortune to rent (think $2000+ per DAY or more). They DO work though!
What Works BEST?
The best system would give you the following attributes:
Clean Heated Air without carbon monoxide or water vapor.
Long Run times with non-toxic fuel which is not hookup dependent.
Low power usage and noise levels.
Affordable with a lot of heat output and a LOT of airflow for fast drying. You MUST have a flow of heated air thru the structure and lots of air movement to properly dry a building.
Quiet and low power draw.
Bio-Dry is the Solution!
Indirect fired BIODIESEL fired furnace system. Biodiesel is the ONLY fuel that is rated totally non toxic by the EPA, it is vegetable oil. You can drink it, though we wouldn't recommend it (BLECH). There are zero site spill issues. It burns 90% cleaner than petro-diesel or kerosene. It has practically zero odor. And no, your rental indirect fired units will NOT run on it (their flame sensors don't work and the fuel lines and seals aren't designed to handle biodiesel...they will fail and leak all over the place which wouldn't be much fun to clean up!)
Long run times, low noise, low power use. A 150 gallon tank onboard allows for 48 hours of run time without stopping. Enclosed trailer-mounted unit is very quiet. A single circuit is all that is needed.
Huge heat and airflow output. Your typical rental indirect heater is 180,000 BTU's and 1000 CFM of air. The bigger units are 280,000 BTU and 1900 CFM or air. The Bio-Dry system is 500,000 BTU's and 5000 CFM of air. It would take 3 of the smaller rental units to match one Bio-Dry system. The larger rental units would require 2 to match the BTU output. Neither will match the airflow or static pressure. Drying is partially dependent on airflow and again Bio-Dry is way ahead. This means longer air hoses for more coverage, more air outlets, and more airflow for faster drying.
Cost effective. The Bio-Dry system run $895 per day including fuel, ducts, delivery/pickup and setup/breakdown. Includes 180' of ducting in the rental charges, no refueling needed for 2 days. Higher BTU and airflow mean faster drying so you'll need less rental time onsite. Compare that to 3 rental units plus delivery and pickup, plus additional hose rentals, plus refueling 3 x per day, plus potential toxic site spill issues, plus the dehumidifier and drying fan rentals, plus 3 circuits needed, plus longer time needed onsite. BioDry ends up SAVING you money!
A Note on BioDiesel Costs
Is Biodiesel more expensive than regular diesel? It depends. We run offroad, died non tax B-100 biodiesel and it is typically less costly than pump diesel. Offroad D-2 diesel is typically a bit less money BUT for the non toxicity, the zero fume levels, the fact the money goes to US farmers and not offshore, and the fact it is environmentally sound...several years of experience has taught us that it is SOOOO worth it. Only one person has declined it in several years of operation and everybody else has been thrilled with the results. We have many many many successful drying stories!
Fantastic for Portable Heat and Ventilation!
Have a large area to heat? Have to dry out a large concrete pour job? Big Party tent to heat? Big Water damage problem? Large Enclosed Space to Vent? Bio-Dry is ideal for these applications. Digital Thermostat allows you to control the temperature to a comfortable or constant level. Zero odor, low noise levels and self contained secure trailer. Long run times mean less refueling worries.
BioDry has 5000 CFM of air movement making it ideal as a large confined space ventilation system with high pressure capability making it ideal for use when you have a large space to ventilate with limited exhaust (a regular fan will not supply enough air). Because there are no fuel or drying equipment rental needed, the air only air rates are FAR lower per day because we are not burning fuel.