How to Dry Water Damage with a Dehumidifier. What Pros Say
Water can cause significant damage such as wood rot, mold growth, delaminating of materials, rust, and bacterial growth. Always act immediately when catastrophic events occur before water damages your properties. For this, a dehumidifier is often a machine that is almost indispensable.
How to Dry Water Damage with a Dehumidifier:
The first step is to assess the damage and the amount of water. Choose a suitable model dehumidifier. Professional models can remove much more water per day than a household one. Remove as many objects from the room as possible, and try to raise the room temperature as much as possible. The higher the temperature, the better the dehumidifier will work.
In this blog post, I will further explain what the best method is to remove any water from your room or house. How to choose the best humidifier for your situation and how much water removal you can expect.
- 1 How to Dry Water Damage with a Dehumidifier
- 2 Key Points before using your dehumidifier
- 3 Can a Dehumidifier Help With Water Damage?
- 4 How Long To Run Dehumidifier after Water Leak?
- 5 How Long Should I run a dehumidifier after a flood?
- 6 How Long Does It Take for a Dehumidifier to Dry Out a Room?
- 7 How Do You Use a Dehumidifier After a Flood?
- 8 How Much Water Should a Dehumidifier Collect In A Day?
- 9 Why is my dehumidifier running but not collecting water?
- 10 Bottom Line
How to Dry Water Damage with a Dehumidifier
Losses due to water can be felt either instantly or slowly as time progresses. Studies reveal many homeowners have incurred water damage losses at some point. Clogged toilets, broken pipes, and dishwasher leakages are common causes of water damages in homesteads.
Dehumidifiers are very effective in absorbing water hence preventing secondary water damage. Generally, water damage continues manifesting long after water has been dried in your premises. Mold growth, damp smells, and wet spots are renowned signs of water damage.
There are two types of dehumidifiers to choose from, namely:
- Refrigeration dehumidifiers pull air over a cold coil; vapor condenses on the coil, and the water drops to the reservoir.
- Desiccant dehumidifiers pass air over a desiccant; hot air removes the moisture, dries, and re-generates it for more water collection.
Key Points before using your dehumidifier
- Close doors and windows: Always shut doors and windows to prevent outside humidity from seeping by your dehumidifier.
- Check the current temperature: Evaluate both the temperature and the dampness of your house. Generally, a dehumidifier extracts water efficiently hence drying your premises faster. The moisture of your home influences the dehumidifier you will use.
- Remove water damaged items: Remove all household items that have suffered water damage. This technique prevents your household items from soaking more water.
- Use the right dehumifier: Choose the right dehumidifier after your assessment. Severe water damage requires powerful commercial dehumidifiers and vice-versa.
The dehumidifier pauses automatically when the tank is full. Empty the reservoir and continue using your dehumidifier. Use a moisture meter to confirm if the surfaces are completely dry. If the damage is significant, we recommend renting a commercial dehumidifier or getting in touch with restoration professionals.
Can a Dehumidifier Help With Water Damage?
Dehumidifiers are excellent at pulling absorbed moisture out of porous materials such as drywall, wood, and carpets, among others. Additionally, dehumidifiers prevent swelling and warping. Dehumidifiers have different capabilities. Therefore, there is no standard time to get the task done.
How long it will take to dry the water damage depends significantly on the dehumidifier’s settings, the type of dehumidifier, the working area’s size, and the amount of water. Dehumidifiers can further be subdivided into two types:
- Household dehumidifiers: Household dehumidifiers can only hold up to 9 gallons (34 liters) of water. They often have a specific maximum humidity setting. This means they shut off when the air gets to that level. Household humidifiers function at a slower rate.
- Commercial dehumidifiers: Commercial dehumidifiers can pull the moisture out faster. Commercial units can remove up to 400 gallons daily. You can hire commercial dehumidifiers from equipment rental companies near you. Keep in mind that the machines that can remove a lot of water are really big. Portable models can remove a lot less water (often 30 to 40 gallons).
How Long To Run Dehumidifier after Water Leak?
If you use a commercial dehumidifier that can remove 400 gallons of water daily, you can expect to take it between 2 and 3 days for a small flood. For a household dehumidifier, it will take much longer. But it greatly depends on the amount of water, affected area, your dehumidifier, and the extent of the water damage, among others.
The amount of water removed will be determined by the unit’s power, the room temperature, and the humidity of the air in your home. In short, individuals using a powerful dehumidifier will run it for shorter hours when compared to the average dehumidifier.
Use a moisture meter to determine if surfaces are completely dry to prevent unexpected damage later. You should also turn off your dehumidifier if you don’t use it for a long time.
How Long Should I run a dehumidifier after a flood?
Generally, it would be best to run a dehumidifier for as long as possible. It depends on how intense the floods are and how fast your house dries up. I recommend running your dehumidifier between 10 to 12 hours each day for roughly two weeks after a flood.
Continue using your dehumidifier until it is really dry. You can check this with a moisture meter. If you do not have a moisture meter, still continue for some time after you think it looks fine. You want to ensure that the invisible moisture (under and inside) is removed. A robust dehumidifier is recommended in the event of floods. They are efficient in completely drying out your house much faster.
How Long Does It Take for a Dehumidifier to Dry Out a Room?
A portable industrial humidifier can take several weeks, depending on the amount of water. A powerful industrial humidifier will need 2 to 3 days for a small flood (up to 800 gallons). But it isn’t easy to give a specific timeframe for a dehumidifier to extract water from a room.
Several factors influence the overall time:
- The type of dehumidifier: Each dehumidifier model has a different performance. Some are more powerful than others. Using powerful dehumidifiers reduces the time spent drying out your room compared to a household dehumidifier.
- The size of the reservoir: What is the size of the reservoir, and how often do you empty it. If you use a model with a smaller reservoir, let it first fill completely. Use a stopwatch to measure how long this took. The dehumidifiers will shut down when the reservoir is full. Now you know how long it takes before you have to empty the tank.
- Dehumidifier settings: The dehumidifier settings can influence the duration it takes to remove the water. Check the manual for what the best setting is for your situation.
- The amount of water: The amount of water and type of damage caused is the number one determinant of how long it takes to dry out a room. More water and/or more severe damage means more time.
How Do You Use a Dehumidifier After a Flood?
The aftermath of a flood can be devastating. However, the below step by step guide can help get rid of the flood within the shortest time possible:
- Step 1. The evaluation process: Always start first by assessing the damage. During this stage, get rid of anything that cannot be salvaged. Decide on the best humidifier to use. If the area is large, you may need multiple machines. Dehumidifiers come in many shapes and sizes.
- Step 2. Use the correct settings: The relative humidity level settings should be between 30-50%. Anything below this might cause excessive dryness or even promote bacteria growth. I also do not recommend setting the settings too high during winter. It might damage the dehumidifier in the long run. Always check the user manual for the best setting for your particular case.
- Step 3. Find the best location: The location of your dehumidifier influences its performance. Avoid placing your device against walls as this hinders its performance. Generally, dehumidifiers suck in the damp air. Placing a dehumidifier against the wall exhausts the vents, thus reducing its performance. Place your device in a spot with good air circulation.
- Step 4. Empty the water reservoir in time: Empty the water reservoir before it is full. When it is full, the dehumidifier will stop. Regularly check the dehumidifier filters. They can influence the overall performance of your dehumidifier and should be replaced in time (often every six months).
- Step 5. Read the manual: It may look like a simple device, but I recommend checking the manual for tips. Also, go through the safety instructions before using your device since both water and power are involved.
How Much Water Should a Dehumidifier Collect In A Day?
Generally, most small domestic dehumidifiers can collect 3 to 6 gallons (10 to 20 liters) of water per day. Larger portable professional dehumidifiers can collect up to 30 gallons per day (100 liters). A commercial high-power dehumidifier can collect up to 400 gallons of water per day (up to 1500 liters), but these are massive machines that are not portable.
Certain factors influence the amount of water a dehumidifier can collect at any given time. Below are examples:
- Environmental conditions: The higher the temperature, the better the dehumidifier will perform. If possible, try to raise the temperature of the location.
- Dehumidifier capacity: This applies both to the amount of water that the machine can remove per hour and the water tank capacity. A higher water tank capacity makes removing more water per day more effortless.
- Dehumidifier type: The type of dehumidifier you use also influences the amount of water you can collect per day.
Read the user manual before using your dehumidifier. It indicated the maximum water it can collect. Stick to the limit, or it won’t effectively perform or get faulty. Consider operating your dehumidifier with breaks in between for efficiency.
Why is my dehumidifier running but not collecting water?
If you notice that your dehumidifier is running but does not collect any water, check the following:
- Temperature: The temperature should be higher than 65 Fahrenheit for a dehumidifier to collect water efficiently. Check the manual for the exact number for your machine. I recommend raising the temperature as high as possible to make the dehumidifier work faster.
- Dehumidifier motor: Check if the motor the fan motor is working. Maybe the water collection tank is full. Or there is a certain setting that is keeping the motor from running.
- Frozen coils: Frozen coils, especially during winter, are another reason for reducing water collection. Defrosting the coils or an auto-defrost feature can resolve this issue.
Water damage can be a frustrating affair, especially if caught unaware. There are two main options for securing a dehumidifier. You can either purchase or rent. Renting a dehumidifier is pocket-friendly when compared to purchasing yours.
Dehumidifiers are the most effective way of drying water damage. They come in different shapes and sizes. Therefore, they can reach the almost unreachable part of your room. Consequently, they can dry your households within a short period. This reduces or prevents damages that might occur due to water damage.
Don’t allow water to damage your households and properties at large. If the damage is severe, use a dehumidifier and get your house in order in less than a month. Also, be careful with the dehumidifier you choose. Ensure it has the capacity of getting the job done, depending on the room size or the damage caused.
Lastly, regularly monitor your house after water damage to see if the water was perfectly dried up or it needs a dehumidifier once more. Some water damage might slowly occur without your knowledge.