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How Long Does It Take For A Wall To Dry Out After A Leak Causes Water Damage [And How To Dry It Faster]?

Did you experience a leak in your house? After you've finished cleaning off the standing water, you'd probably look around and notice that your floor and wall are damp. You can't use a room with wet walls, so how long will it take to dry? What methods can you try if you want it to dry faster? We researched these questions, and here are the answers.

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A wet wall dries in about two to five days, depending on how much moisture it absorbs. Several other factors may also affect the time it takes for your wall to dry, so it may take weeks to dry completely. If you want to speed up the drying time, here are the things you should do:

  1. Resolve the leak.
  2. Drain the water out of the wall.
  3. Get rid of severely damaged wall areas.
  4. Choose a method to dry the wall.

Taking the necessary steps to deal with a damp wall will help decrease the drying time. The details of how to do each step are critical. It will also help estimate the time you need to look into the factors that may affect the drying speed. To learn more about these, scroll down and read more on the information we collected for you.

Wet concrete wall background at rainy day, How Long Does It Take For A Wall To Dry Out After A Leak Causes Water Damage [And How To Dry It Faster]?

How To Dry A Wall Faster After A Leak

Through several drying methods, your water-damaged wall will dry faster. Solely relying on air drying will take longer than doing something yourself.

Before doing the recommended steps to dry your wall faster, give your area proper ventilation.

You may turn on your AC to reduce the humidity and help stop the moisture in the air from getting into your wall.

In addition, open the doors and windows in the room where you have water-damaged walls, unless you're using a dehumidifier.

If you have wall coverings on your walls, such as wallpaper and wall fabric, it may slow down the drying process, so remove them. Lastly, if your damp wall has cabinets or similar furniture, open them to increase air circulation.

flood in my building which makes the wall wet

Follow these steps to speed up the drying time of your wall:

1. Resolve The Leak

Locate any water leaks near your wall and get them fixed so that they don't become more severe. Allowing leaks from your faucet, pipes, or other fixtures will give you a hard time drying your wall.

You may need a professional to help you out with this. However, you can use epoxy putty for sealing minor pipe damage.

Check out this epoxy putty stick on Amazon.

2. Drain Out The Water Of The Wall

Your wall may contain standing water, especially if it has severe water damage. To check if this is the case, drill a two-inch hole along the wall and observe if water comes from it.

If it does, drain the water by drilling small holes along the border. While doing this, keep the spots at about two inches and about 16-26 inches apart.

Click here to check out this drill set on Amazon.

3. Get Rid Of Severely Damaged Wall Areas 

Extremely affected areas of your wall may grow mold and mildew and may put your whole wall's stability at risk. You will have to remove these areas as a safety precaution.

Here are some things you should look for to determine if a spot of your wall needs to be removed or repaired by an expert:

  • Black or dark patches and streaks on your wall.
  • Warped spots on wooden walls.
  • Cracks or discolored areas on your wall.
  • Rusted and warped areas on metal stud walls.
  • Chipped or dissolved areas on brick and stone walls.

4. Choose A Method To Dry The Wall

Depending on the water damage's severity and the spot where the dampness is, you may use different methods to dry your wall faster. You can choose one of these methods or do all of them to be on the safe side:

Drying a wet and damp basement with fan

Oscillating Fan

You can use an electric fan for small damp areas on your wall. Place your fan in front of the wet spots on your wall and turn it to its highest setting.

You may use several fans for each damp area of your wall to quickly dry all of them. Use your fan's oscillation function to target multiple wall locations with one fan.

Check out this oscillating fan on Amazon.

Dehumidifier

Use a dehumidifier for more prominent damp spots. The best dehumidifier to dry your wall faster should process at least 2,800 ml of water daily.

Follow your manufacturer's instructions and place the dehumidifier in the same place as your water-damaged wall. Close the doors and windows in your room before running the device.

Click here to see this dehumidifier on Amazon.

Desiccants

Use desiccants to absorb the water for closed damp areas like your closet. Other standard drying methods will not be able to work in covered spaces, while desiccants can absorb some excess water vapors in them.

Check out these desiccant packets on Amazon.

Factors That Affect A Wall's Drying Time

Many signs will tell you there's too much moisture in your wall. Any peeling, bubbling of paint, warping, or indications of mold mean the wall is damp and may encounter damage.

While the average drying time is between two to five days, don't rely on this timeframe too much. Several factors will help you tell how quickly or how long the drying time your wall requires, such as:

The Extent Of Water Damage

Water damage in basement caused by sewer backflow

The amount of water absorbed by your wall will tell you how long it will take to dry. Partially or mildly soaked walls dry quickly, while extremely soaked ones take longer to dry.

Wall Covering

Gray wallpapering near bright window openings in apartment

A wall with several coats of paint dries faster because nothing seals the moisture the wall has absorbed, making it easier for the water to evaporate.

However, walls with wallpaper take longer to dry, because the wallpaper seals in the moisture absorbed by the wall.

Openness Of The Wall

The front and back of the wall are both affected by water damage from leakage. That is why the openness and accessibility of each side of the wall will tell you which side will dry faster.

The open side will not take long to dry out. Meanwhile, the covered side will take longer, and mold has a higher chance of growing there.

How Quickly Can Water Damage Your Wall?

It can take a long time to dry out your damp wall, but it only takes about an hour for water to damage it.

Remember that mold will develop the longer the water remains in your wall. Mold and mildew can lead to health risks, so you should not leave a water-damaged wall unattended. 

Can A One-Time Leak Cause Mold?

In most cases, mold grows after 24 to 48 hours. Once it infests your walls, it will spread and become difficult to remove.

Even if the leak happened in your home for the first time, mold growth is possible. Even minor leaks can cause mold, because it thrives best on damp or moist surfaces.

When To Hire A Professional To A Dry Water-Damaged Wall

Sometimes you cannot save a water-damaged wall yourself and need the aid of a professional.

Doing this is especially necessary if the moisture has caused mold and mildew to grow severely over your wall, as it may put your health at risk and negatively impact air quality.

If the mold grows on almost the entirety of your wall, you can't clean it off yourself, and you'll need to call a professional. An expert can help you remove mold for these cases.

Mold infestation means your wall has been left with too much moisture for too long, so it is probably already damaged. In addition, a water-damaged wall may harm your house's structural stability. 

In Closing

Wet concrete wall background at rainy day

You address the problem of water-damaged walls quickly to avoid risking your house's foundation and you health.

To help speed up the drying process, resolve the leak that caused the water damage, drain standing water in your wall, remove severely damaged areas, and use fans, dehumidifiers, or desiccants to help dry the wall.

If you found this article insightful, check out these other posts:

How To Stop My P-Trap From Leaking

How To Get Rid Of Mold On Bedroom Walls