“Dry” Cleaning Your Property in the Fall

Soupy. Clammy. Swampy. Muggy. They’re all ways to describe the humid conditions that summer always brings. And as a property manager, humidity is one of those things you have to work to control so that it doesn’t cause conditions that damage building materials or interfere with occupant comfort. But did you also know that humidity can affect how and when you clean your property? Here’s a brief science lesson to uncover just how the moisture in the air can hamper major cleaning projects like pressure washing, carpet cleaning, and floz gor polishing.

The Science of Drying Time 101

For starters, drying time is probably one of the most important steps of the cleaning process.

Whether you’re using fans, air dryers, blowers, or allowing moisture to naturally evaporate, it takes more than heat and air and the technician’s time. All the pieces of the ‘puddle’ have to line up so to speak, and that includes the right combination of temperature and relative humidity. We’ll try to make this simple.

The time it takes liquid to evaporate isn’t as simple as the sun coming out and drying up all the rain on a 90-degree day. That only happens in nursery rhymes. In reality, the length of time it takes something to evaporate is dependent on the relative humidity more so than temperature. But it requires both factors to be aligned. As the air temperature increases, it absorbs more liquid, consequently, the relative humidity is decreased. So, lower relative humidity contributes to faster drying.


DC-Maryland-Virginia Humidity Affects Cleaning Projects

Here’s a month-by-month peak at our area’s summer and fall humidity levels.

The beginning of summer is usually moderately humid with an average relative humidity of 67% and average highs and lows of 83°F and 65°F.

This year was DC’s 15th-warmest and 25th-rainiest July on record, so we definitely experienced an increased ‘stickiness factor’ this summer. July is typically the hottest month of the year with average highs of 89°F and lows of 70°F.  The average relative humidity in July is 63%.  

In August, Washington DC is moderately humid with an average relative humidity of 65% and average highs of 87°F and lows of 68°F.

Pleasantly warm, but cooling down, September’s average highs and lows are 81°F and 62°F with an average relative humidity of 67%. 

Fall is the time for your “dry” cleaning projects

Here we go getting scientific again. To recap, relative humidity is important in the drying process because the more moisture that’s already in the air, the lower the rate at which water will evaporate and the less moisture that the air can hold.

What does this mean for property managers as they schedule cleaning projects? Fall is a great time for pressure washing walkways and garages, carpet cleaning high-traffic and entry areas, and polishing, stripping, and waxing floors. The drying time for these projects is quicker than during the summer, more humid months. Quicker dry time means: 

  • less chance for mold and mildew to settle in
  • less of a hassle re: rerouting foot traffic while things dry, and 
  • reduced chance of slip and falls on a premises due to wet areas.

Our commercial cleaning services like power washing and floor and carpet cleaning are just a few of the services we offer to help make the lives of property managers easier. When you partner with Clean Advantage you are getting long-term employees, extensive specialist training, and multi-layered quality control for every project. Ready to schedule your fall “dry” cleaning today? Give us a call at (301) 579-8820 to schedule an immediate, on-site visit, or visit our website to learn more.