How Do You Dry Walls After Water Damage?

Stacy CookWater Damage

Water damage inside your home can be a stressful and costly experience. If water has infiltrated your walls, swift action is essential to prevent major structural damage and mold growth. Drying your walls after water damage is a crucial step, and failing to do this can result in extensive and potentially hazardous damage. In this blog, we will discuss how to dry walls after water damage, the steps involved, and tips for drying out wet walls.


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What Makes Drying Out Walls After Water Damage Difficult? Drying out walls after water damage can be tricky. Water can penetrate walls, creating a conducive environment for mold growth and compromising the structural integrity of the wall. Additionally, moisture can be trapped between layers of the walls or inside insulation, which can lead to long-term mold growth and more extensive water damage.

Steps to Dry Walls After Water Damage. Drying out the walls after water damage is a step-by-step tactic that demands meticulous attention especially when done DIY. Below are the steps involved in drying out water-damaged walls:

Step 1: Assess the Damage. Start by assessing the extent of the water damage to the walls. Depending on the water source and the duration of the water exposure, the damage to your walls can range from mild to severe. Make sure to inspect both the visible and non-visible wall surfaces for any signs of water damage such as discoloration, dampness, or cracks in the paint or wallpaper.

Step 2: Ventilation. Unless it’s storming outside, open up all windows and doors in the affected room to enhance air circulation. The air circulation will expel moisture from the room and provide fresh, dry air to replace the damp and humid air. Creating a cross-ventilation system will improve the drying rate in the room. 

If the weather outside the home is wet or humid, it may be better to use air conditioning or exhaust fans to create an optimal environment for walls to dry.

Step 3: Remove Damaged Drywall and InsulationRemove the damaged drywall and insulation to prevent moisture and water from getting trapped within the walls. Mold and mildew can grow rapidly when walls remain wet for a long time. Cut away any affected drywall or insulation, and dispose of it accordingly.

Step 4: Use a DehumidifierA dehumidifier is essential in removing excess moisture from the air, which will speed up the drying process of the walls. Run a dehumidifier in the affected room to help reduce the humidity levels and facilitate faster drying.

Step 5: Air Movers. Place air movers in the affected area to increase airflow and promote faster drying. These high-velocity blowers can significantly decrease the overall drying time through pointed and concentrated airflow. It’s essential to direct the air movers on the wall surfaces, that need drying.

Step 6: Use Fans. Fans can help in circulating the air in the room, further stimulating the drying process. Place fans near the affected walls and turn them onto high power to encourage airflow in the affected area.

Step 7: Monitor the Drying Process. It is important to keep checking on the wall surfaces and materials regularly to monitor the drying process. Use a moisture meter to check the moisture levels in the wall cavity and drywall. The humidity levels of the affected room should range between 30 – 50% relative humidity.

Tips for Drying Out Wet WallsDrying out wet walls requires taking the appropriate measures and following the right techniques. Here are some tips for drying out wet walls:

  1. Act Fast. The key to drying out wet walls is to act quickly. The longer water sits on walls, the more difficult it becomes to dry them, and the more likely mold will grow.
  2. Wear Protective Gear. When removing damaged drywall or insulation, wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, and goggles to prevent exposure to harmful materials, mold spores, or allergens that could be present.
  3. Use a Moisture Meter. When checking the moisture levels in the wall cavity and drywall, use a moisture meter. These devices help detect moisture and provide a more accurate reading of the water levels on the walls.
  4. Understand the Drying Timeframe. The drying time frame of a wall will vary based on various factors such as the water source, the type of wall, and the current environment. Generally, walls can take anywhere from three to five days to dry completely.
  5. Hire Professionals. If the water damage appears to be extensive or you’re uncertain how to proceed, contact a water damage restoration company like ORC Services.