Water Damage Restoration Technician School

How to safely dry out flood and water damage situations. All aspects of cleaning, dehumidification and restoration as well as customer relations, marketing and follow up care. Ron method of simplified math and psychrometry helps those who haven't been to school for along time get through the technical aspects.
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Capillary Action

Capillary Action relies on two elements. 1) A liquid’s attraction to a surface must be stronger than its attraction to itself  2) Two of these attractive surfaces are close enough together so that surface attraction will draw or force the liquid between them.  This is Capillary rise. The closer the surfaces are, the deeper liquid can penetrate (or move higher in a tube). Lowering a liquid’s attraction is for itself (reducing Surface Tension), increases the potential for capillary rise. Water’s attraction (adhesion) to a surface is the result of the water molecule’s polarity.  Liquid water penetrates and leaves fabrics, carpets and building materials by capillary action. Once the force of capillary action and gravity have equalized in the material, liquid is pulled toward the drier surface, the one that is exposed to moving air (evaporation point). Flow to the evaporation point continues as newly arrived liquid molecules replace the molecules that escape as vapor.  Although carpet and fabric don’t have tubes, closely twisted yarns and woven fibers provide the adjoining surfaces necessary for capillary action creating a capillary system. That’s why when cleaning wall to wall carpet “what goes down must come up”.

(Taken from the library of "Science of Drying Textiles and Buildings" an on-line course under construction by School of Surface Technology.)


               Capillary Rise                                                          Surface Tension                                                         Adhesion




                                                                                              Capillary Action



                   Evaporation Point                                                                      Capillary System Using a Strip of Paper Towel




      Photographs by Ron Toney All rights reserved.                                                                                                                   Click to home page