Two dessicant 1200’s pushing dry air into our drying chamber.

The town of Red Lodge beams with pride in Red Lodge High School (RLHS). The state of the art school, which was newly constructed in 2009, is home to a tournament sized gymnasium that seats up to 2300 people and allows Red Lodge the opportunity to host regional tournaments bringing valuable business to their town. In fact, in just two weeks from the discovery of this water damage, a much anticipated regional volleyball tournament was planned. You can imagine the anxiousness felt when school officials were greeted by standing water when they entered the concession stand!

A water supply line for a soda machine failed in the RLHS concession stand. When discovered, water damage was found in both the concession stand and adjoining locker rooms. In addition, approximately  one inch of standing water was found under a majority of the gym floor. Immediately following this discovery, school officials did two things: 1) They called Alpha Omega to begin damage repair 2) They brought in a representative from the company they purchased the floor from to provide a professional opinion on if it could be repaired. His opinion was that it would not be able to be dried and floor replacement, at the cost of approximately $200,000, was the only option.  Heeding that advice, school officials determined they needed to make an attempt to dry the floor so students could continue with their many school year activities that were planned for that gym, including the upcoming tournament. Floor replacement, if necessary, would have to wait until summer break!


Many challenges were presented in repairing the water damage. Some of them include:

  • Due to the time frame of when the inconspicuous water line failure began and when it was discovered by school officials, the gym floor was already beginning to cup when our team arrived.
  • Water was present in each layer of the gym floor which was constructed with the following multiple layers: a concrete slab base, 6 mill plastic vapor barrier, sleeper joists, plywood, maple planks, and a gym floor finish. The only way to remove the standing water trapped under this floor was through six 6X6 electrical ports. Two dessicant 1200’s pushing dry air into our drying chamber.
  • Drying needed to begin immediately to prevent the floor from buckling. If buckling occurred, there would be no chance in saving the floor.
  • Team Alpha Omega had a deadline! RLHS Rams volleyball team was set to host a tournament just two short weeks away. Practice needed to take place in the meantime so they would be ready for tournament play.
  • Sufficient power was not available for the amount of equipment necessary to dry the building material in the amount of time available.


Team Alpha Omega is always up for a challenge, ready to use our expertise to creatively achieve excellent and timely solutions. Solutions for executing the successful drying for this project include:

  • Extraction of standing water trapped in the floor cavity was completed as much as possible using a vacuum pump system through the small access ports. Standing water as seen through a floor electrical port.
  • The multi-layers were dried by pressurizing the floor cavity with warm, dry air using controlled desiccant dehumidifiers. A “drying chamber” was constructed around the bleachers on one side of the gym in which 36000 CFM of desiccated air was directed into. Multiple air movers in this “drying chamber” further forced air under the floor-moving the warm dry air under the width of the floor and out the other side.Drying chamber set up under one side of the gym’s bleachers.
  • Drying equipment was kept on one side of the gym in order to allow volleyball practice to continue. Equipment used to save RLHS’s gym floor.
  • Supplied 200 amps of temporary power in order to run volume of necessary drying equipment.

End Result

We are proud to say our team of experts rose to the challenge and SAVED THAT FLOOR! The cost of drying was less than 20% of the cost of replacement. Did the volleyball tournament go on without a hitch? It sure did! Go RAMS!

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