If you have drywall in your home, the last thing you want is to deal with water damage. Leaks, busted pipes, floods, and other weather conditions can lead to standing water and water damage. Drywall is particularly vulnerable to water damage because it is delicate and absorbent. If you notice standing water in your home or suspect a leak has damaged your drywall, keep some of these professional tips in mind.
Dry Wet Drywall:
Always start by ensuring the cause of the water has been fixed. Remove any access water you see, followed by removing furniture and other items from the room. Blot the wall. Use fans, ventilation, or a dehumidifier to dry the drywall as quickly as possible. The faster you manage to dry the drywall, the less severe the damage will be. Always check for mold.
In this blog post, I will explain the best way to dry the drywall. This involves more than actual drying. I will also answer some of the questions I get about wet drywall, but first I will start with how you can sport if your drywall has water damage.
- 1 How Can You Tell If Drywall Has Water Damage?
- 2 How Long Will Drywall Stay Wet?
- 3 Will A Dehumidifier Dry Drywall?
- 4 Will Drywall Dry Out After A Leak?
- 5 How Long Does It Take For Water To Damage Drywall?
- 6 How To Dry Wet Drywall Properly
There are many signs that tell you your drywall has water damage. Some are obvious and easy to see, and others take some time to show up. If you notice standing water near your drywall, there’s a good chance it has water damage. But also when you do not see any water present, the water can be behind the drywall, and not visible from the outside. Here are some other signs to look for.
One of the most apparent signs of drywall water damage is discoloration. It may appear as brown or yellow stripes down the wall, circular stains, or large sections can appear discolored. The longer the water sits and the more severe the damage, the darker the staining.
The best way I have found to cover this discoloration is with a good primer and some paint. I recommend always using a suitable primer. If not, the stains and dis-colorization will most likely return after a short while. Keep in mind that you will only be able to paint over the discoloration if you can dry and save the drywall.
Bubbling occurs when the water gets trapped between the drywall mud and the paper cover. The bubbles can be small or large. They may remain filled with water, or the water may be absorbed back into the drywall and just leave the paper pushed out. The bubbling should subside as you dry the drywall, but the paper may need to be replaced or repaired.
Sometimes you can smell water damage before you can see it. If you walk into a room and notice a musty smell, it could mean your drywall is wet, or there is a leak somewhere in the room. If you can smell this musty odor, it’s a good idea to check for a leak or standing water. You should also inspect your drywall to see if there are any minor signs of water damage that you may not have noticed.
As the water causes the drywall to swell, it can cause the paint to peel from the wall. You may notice large sections starting to bubble or come free from the wall. You may also see small pieces peeling from the corners or the sides. If you do notice peeling paint, you may be able to sand down your walls and repaint after the drywall is dry, and you have determined that you can save it.
Sagging can be a sign of severe water damage. The drywall can fill with water due to its high absorbency rate. This makes it heavy and causes it to come loose from the frame. You will notice it starting to sag away from the top, or it may even sag and break off into large sections. This can be a problem because it can also pull on the drywall sheets nearby that may not have water damage. I find it easier to remove these sections rather than trying to repair them.
Depending on how long the drywall was exposed to water, it can take up to three days for the drywall to completely dry out. This is because drywall is extremely absorbent.
The longer it is exposed to water and the more water it is exposed to, the more it can absorb. If you allow the drywall to air dry, it will take longer than if you use fans, a dehumidifier, and other things to dry it out. You should find the source of the leak or flood immediately and remove the water from the drywall.
Mold can start to grow on drywall within 48 hours. Using fans and dehumidifiers can help prevent mold growth and help the drywall dry out faster. Once mold starts to grow on the drywall, it may not be salvageable. You may want to call in a professional mold remediator to remove the mold and make sure your home is safe.
I don’t recommend trying to deal with a mold problem on your own or trying to save any drywall that shows signs of mold growth. If mold is not removed entirely and correctly, it can easily spread to other areas in the home and cause health problems.
A dehumidifier can dry drywall much faster than air drying alone. Moisture slows the drying process and allows mold to grow. If you remove the humidity from the space, the drywall can dry out more easily.
You can use a residential dehumidifier, but I always recommend renting commercial dehumidifiers from many tool stores and home improvement supply stores. They can remove a lot more water per hour compared to a residential dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier pulls in the moisture from the air and dries it out to release dry air back into the room. When used with a fan, this can be highly effective at drying out the drywall quickly.
Drywall will dry out after a leak, but the key is starting the drying process before the damage occurs or further spreads. The longer the drywall is exposed to water, the harder it will be to save it. You should start drying the drywall as soon as you see the standing water or leak.
Sometimes the drywall will dry out, but there will be streaks, stains, bubbling, and other damage apparent. If you notice any cosmetic damage already occurring, it may not be wise to save the drywall. You can still dry it out to make removal easier, but it may not be able to be repaired and reused.
Water damage can occur as quickly as an hour after exposure. The drywall will begin to absorb the moisture and will continue to do so until it can no longer hold any more. The longer the drywall is exposed to the water, the more it will absorb and the longer it will take to dry it out.
If you notice your drywall has signs of water damage, you will need to dry it as soon as possible if you want to save it and prevent further damage to parts of your home. Use the following steps to dry the drywall quickly and thoroughly:
● Step 1: Find The Cause
Before you begin drying the room, you will need to find the cause of the water. It may be a leak, open window, or flood. If you don’t deal with the cause, the water could keep leaking into the room and making drying and repairs impossible. Check appliances, pipes, windows, and doors, and the rooms above and below the room with the water damage.
It is essential to remove the water as soon as possible. If there is only a little water in the room, you may be able to remove it with a mop, towels, or even a broom. If the water is deep or if there is a lot of it, you might need to use a sump pump. If the water is coming from another room in the home, you will need to remove it as well.
Remove all the furniture and large items in a room so you can ventilate it more easily and dry it thoroughly. This will also give you a chance to check for damage on these pieces. Once all the furniture and large objects are out of the room, you will also be able to assess the damage to the room and be able to move around to work more easily.
Once all the water is gone, you can start to dry out the room. Open all the windows in the room to improve ventilation and air movement. If you have fans, you can also angle them at the wettest areas of the room. If the room and walls are extremely wet, it may be necessary to rent commercial fans that are larger and can move the air around more quickly. Drying the room as fast as possible will reduce the severity of the water damage.
Use the following methods to dry the room:
– Blot The Wall
You can gently remove a good bit of water by using a towel or cloth to blot the wall dry. You will need to be extremely careful when doing this, as pushing too hard on a wet wall could cause the drywall to break and leave a hole. Do not rub, as this could also weaken the drywall and cause more damage. I recommend using old towels or rags, as they may need to be thrown away when you are finished.
It’s essential to dry the drywall as quickly as possible, so it can be beneficial to bring in some fans. The fans will remove the moisture out of the room and help pull it out of the drywall. If it dries before too much of it is absorbed, the drywall is less likely to be damaged. I often rent commercial fans from my local home improvement store. They are larger and run faster, so they can direct more air towards the wet areas and get the entire room dry must faster than regular house fans.
– Using the air conditioner
If have an air conditioner in the room, you can use it to remove moisture as well. Set it to the lowest humidity setting if possible.
– Use a dehumidifier
Using a dehumidifier can help to remove excess water from the room quickly. I recommend renting a professional dehumidifier instead of using a residential one. They are capable of removing a lot more water per hour. If the amount of water is significant, it can still take quite some time, several days to remove it.
Proper ventilation is also crucial for drying out the drywall and removing the moisture from the air. This can help prevent the water from soaking deep into the drywall and also prevent mold from growing on the walls or any other area the water may have touched. Only if you live in a really humid area, be careful. You do not want to bring in additional moisture in the room.
Once the room has dried completely, you will need to go over it and check for damage. If you notice that there are still areas that seem soft or damp, you will want to continue the drying process. You may need to check and continue to dry several times over the next few days until you notice that the room seems completely dry.
Once you figure out what the damage is like when the drywall is dry, you can decide if you want to make the repairs or would rather just replace it. You can also decide if you want to attempt the repairs yourself or you want to hire a professional to do the job.
● Step 6: Check For Mold
Mold grows very quickly and much faster than most people realize. Even if the water has only been standing for a short amount of time or if the drywall is just damp, it could still be a place for mold to grow. You will want to inspect the drywall carefully to see if there are any signs of mold growth. If you do see mold on the drywall, do not use it. You can have a mold remediation expert treat your home before you continue with the repairs.