Effects on Living Organisms
The dehydration system has no adverse effect on human, animal or plant life due to its very small output.
In comparison, the output of our dehydration system is MUCH smaller than common household electronic items such as mobile phones or WiFi routers.
WiFi routers for e.g. can have 100-200 m range in open air. Mobile phones have to communicate to towers that can be a mile away. In comparison, our dehydration system covers an area of meters or tens of meters.
The safety of the product has been independently verified by TÜV (Technical Inspections Association), TÜV-Rhineland, 51105 Köln, Germany.
Effects on Timber
One of the questions we are frequently being asked by building- and conservation professionals is the safety of the dehydration system on timber. In other words, will it "over-dry" historic timber furniture, paneling or fixtures?
The short answer to this is NO, the dehydration system can't "over-dry" timber. On the contrary, by reducing / normalizing the relative humidity (RH) of the internal environment, it will take timber out of the "danger zone" and make it less susceptible to rot.
For professionals, here is a more technical answer to this question:
A More Technical Answer
When a tree is first felled, it is considered to be in the green state, and contains large amounts (up to 65%) of moisture. Moisture in wood takes two different forms :
- Free water that is contained as liquid in the wood itself
- Bound water that is part of the cell/fibre wall material
Once a fresh log is cut it starts losing its free water content. During this time, the wood does not contract or change its dimensions since its fibers are still completely saturated with bound water. Using an analogy: free water resembles liquid in a bucket. Just because water is dumped from the bucket, the bucket does not change its shape.
After all the free water is gone, the wood starts losing its bound water content (from its fibers) during which a reduction of the wood’s volume occurs. Just how much bound moisture is lost during the drying phase it depends on the temperature and relative humidity (RH) of the surrounding air.
The moisture content of timber structures or fixtures in buildings (also known as the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) or air-dry moisture content of timber) is determined primarily by the relative humidity (RH) of the surrounding air.
The relationship between air relative humidity (RH) and timber equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is shown below. Most building interiors are kept between 30 to 60% RH, corresponding to 6 to 11% EMC. Exterior values can be much more variable depending on locale and season, but averages typically range from 30% to 80% RH, corresponding to 6 to 16% EMC.
As timber frame structures and furniture have no free water content, the dehydration system has no direct effect on them.
Indirectly, however the dehydration system can have a beneficial effect on timber making it less susceptible to rot. As mentioned earlier, the moisture content of building timber is primarily determined by the RH of the surrounding air. During the dehydration process the excessive evaporation of walls reduces and the indoor climate of the building normalizes e.g. reduces from 80% or higher to 50-60% or so. The reduced and normalized moisture content makes timber less susceptible to rot, as fungal decay is more likely to occur at high levels of humidity.