How Long Does it Take for Walls to Dry After a Leak
Whenever water damage occurs, it is considered an emergency. The excess water involved will become absorbed by any porous building materials and furnishings that are present. If water continues to pour in, then the damage will continue to spread and get worse.
Water damage only gets worse as time passes, and water damage also creates the ideal conditions for mold growth. Excess water and moisture needs to be extracted, and affected materials need to be dried out immediately, so it is imperative that it gets addressed right away.
Water damage can be caused by various sources, including natural flooding and pipe leaks. In the event of a leak, it is likely that your property will have water damaged drywall. This needs to be dried promptly to prevent the drywall from experiencing severe structural harm and encouraging mold growth.
What Factors Affect Water Damaged Drywall’s Drying Time?
In some situations, you will be able to let the drywall dry out on its own, but you may wonder how long it will take. Generally speaking, wet drywall will take three days to dry out completely, but the actual answer varies from case to case and depends on numerous factors.
Continue reading to learn more about how long it takes for walls to dry after water damage, what factors need to be accounted for when determining the drying time, and how to dry water damaged drywall.
Extent of the Water Damage
This may go without saying, but water damaged drywall will dry slower the more water it has absorbed. If the drywall has been soaked, then it will obviously take much longer for it to completely dry out compared to if the drywall only sustained partial damage.
For example, drywall that shows just a few inches of water absorption will not take anywhere near as long to dry compared to drywall that has been soaked 30-plus inches high.
Water damaged drywall will dry more quickly when several drying methods are being used on the material. When you are relying only on air drying for your water damaged drywall, it will take longer. By using other drying methods and equipment, you can speed up the drying process.
For example, using dehumidifiers and high-volume fans will help the wall dry faster and prevent mold from growing in response to the damage. Opening windows and doors can also help.
Openness of the Wall
When your drywall suffers water damage, it can be harmed on both the front and back sides. In such a situation, the wall should be opened and accessible on both sides for sufficient drying to happen, which can take a few weeks. Otherwise, it may be months until the drywall completely dries. In this situation, it is likely for mold to have since grown on the affected surface.
Walls that are painted with a few coats of paint will not seal in any moisture the drywall has taken in, so it will be easier for the wall to dry up. Walls covered with wallpaper or that have more than one layer of wallboard will take longer to dry because they can seal in the moisture.
How Do You Dry Out Damaged Walls?
Remove Materials for Better Access
As aforementioned, the more open the affected drywall is, the more quickly it will thoroughly dry out. So, consider removing the baseboards, trim, and moldings from your walls to speed up the evaporation process. This will also prevent these materials from becoming affected by the moisture if they haven’t already been harmed.
If your walls are covered with wallpaper, then you should remove it as well.
Increase Air Flow and Set Up Drying Equipment
So long as weather permits, open up windows and exterior doors to increase the air flow to the affected area.
Set up fans to control the air flow around the damp walls, which will aid with the drying. If you have a dehumidifier, make use of that as well. It will be of great help in eliminating the excess moisture from your water damaged drywall. If you do not have a dehumidifier, you can probably rent one from your local hardware store.
Seek Help from a Professional
Some cases of water damage are manageable on your own. However, there are also plenty of situations where drying out water damaged drywall and other affected materials is best left to the professionals. If the water damage is too much for you to handle, or you do not have the necessary equipment, then you should reach out to professionals for water damage restoration help.
There are professional water damage restoration services available to assist residential and commercial properties that have sustained water damage. Whether you have just one area of water damaged drywall or an entire floor that has experienced water damage, professionals can help. Water technicians have the expertise and equipment needed to thoroughly dry and clean affected properties and restore the damage.
With water damage restoration services, you can feel at ease knowing qualified professionals are tending to your damaged property.