High humidity levels can increase the dry times for dry wall, paint, plaster, fireproofing compounds, adhesives, masonry, cement, and other key building materials. Cost overruns are a builder’s nightmare. Is there a better, more efficient way of decreasing dry times without using traditional heaters, fans, or outdoor air?

In this episode of the Building Management Podcast, Ryan Creagan, Business Development Specialist at Polygon U.S. offered a solution to speed up these dry times: desiccant dehumidifiers. Creagan resides in San Diego, where the area has been subject to rising humidity levels in the past few years. The rising humidity slows down the building process, especially for the dry wall crews.

Unlike traditional methods which may warm up an area, but not mitigate the moisture in the air, desiccant dehumidifiers suck up the moisture and exhaust it out of the building. When determining the right setup of desiccant dehumidifiers for a particular building project, Creagan and his team look at several factors: the size of the area that needs to be dehumidified, the internal/external conditions involved, and the particular building process that needs to be dried.

Why use desiccant dehumidifiers instead of heaters and outside air? Traditional construction heaters use a fuel source such as propane or natural gas which cause combustion and return moisture back into the area one is trying to dry. And outside air is unpredictable. Moisture levels can fluctuate throughout the day with an outside air source.

A recent example of desiccant dehumidifiers saving the day was at a downtown San Diego building project. The humidity levels were causing drywall compound delays. Creagan’s team brought in desiccant dehumidifiers and turned a 3-day dry-time project into an overnight one.

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