How to Dry Out Wall After Water Damage

Liz ODonnell
water damaged wall

It's important to know how to dry out wall after water damage. It's not an easy thing to do but it is critical. Water damage that is left unattended can lead to costly and dangerous structural damage and to harmful mold and mildew growth. Unfortunately, water damage can happen easily. Old homes may have leaky pipes or cracked tiles in the bathroom. Even in new homes, extreme temperatures can cause pipes to burst and flood an interior.

Steps for Drying Out a Wall

Natural ventilation is one alternative for drying out a wall. It is definitely the least expensive, assuming you don't run into problems. However this method is time consuming and mold is a fast growing organism that can spread while you wait for the walls to dry. If you do choose to dry the walls naturally, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the water source immediately.
  2. Remove wall hangings and paintings. If the walls are papered, you will most likely need to remove the paper and repaper when the walls are dry.
  3. Check any wall or ceiling insulation. Start removing and drying the insulation from the ceiling down to the floor. You may need to dispose of insulation if it is soaked.
  4. Remove molding and baseboards. To properly dry out a wall, you need to remove any molding at the top of the wall and baseboards at the floor. Otherwise, the walls won't have proper ventilation and moisture can remain trapped behind the baseboard and molding.
  5. Get plenty of ventilation. Open windows and doors and blow fans on the wet area until the walls are dry. Just be careful about plugging in electrical appliances near water. Also run the air conditioner in the summer.

Dealing With the Water Damage

You many need to consult a professional if your walls are badly damaged. Professional water removal specialists have large, high power fans that can quickly dry the wall and prevent further damage. You may also need a plumber if your water damage was caused by faulty or broken pipes. Plumbers can handle septic systems and difficult projects that require a licensed professional. If the water damage is extensive, be sure to check with your local officials about necessary permits and building codes.

Reasons to Call in a Professional

Call in a pro if you are concerned about the following:

  • Mold. Mold grows very quickly and can be very difficult to remove. Mold and mildew can be harmful to your health and contribute to poor indoor air quality and sick building syndrome.
  • Structural damage. You should also consult a professional if you think the water damage has led to any structural damage in your home.
  • Odors. Definitely consult a specialist if your home develops a strange odor after the damage occurs. These odors can be more than annoying. They may be hazardous to your health as well.

Finding a Specialist

You can find experienced water removal specialists at:

  • 1-800 Water Damage offers twenty-four hour service across the United States.
  • Service Master, which provides a number of services to home owners, offers water damage services.
  • Restoration SOS provides both water repair and mold removal services nationwide.
  • Servpro offers water damage restoration services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Like Restoration SOS, Local Restoration services are nationwide.

As with any specialist, be sure to ask for references before you hire a professional.

Do It Yourself or Call a Pro?

Knowing how to dry out wall after water damage is important and valuable information. But knowing when the job is more than you can handle, and when to call in a professional, is just as important. Take stock of your skills and limitations, and this will help you decide if calling in a specialist is the best way to go.

How to Dry Out Wall After Water Damage