Can Drywall Dry Out?
It is not uncommon for drywall to end up wet in our homes. There are so many ways this can end up happening. Pipes are typically run behind walls when building houses. So if one pipe bursts a leak out of nowhere can happen, which would wet the wall. Flooding can also cause moisture on your walls. One other very common way walls get wet is through leaky roofs. A leaky roof could have water running in, and running down the walls. So it is very likely for your drywall to get damaged by water since it is so vulnerable.
As vulnerable as drywall is, it is important to know how to protect them. One way to do this is to get your house checked every year. Annual home inspections are very good because they check everything including your plumbing.
The question many ask is whether their drywall can be dried after it gets wet. One to avoid further damage and prevent it from needing to be replaced. There are a few ways this can be done.
The Use Of Fans
Fans play a huge role in the water damage restoration industry, and in the case of drywall repairs, it is no different. In the restoration of a drywall, you’re going to need fans. Fans are good for creating some air circulation without humidity. They provide dry air in most conditions if not a dehumidifier paired will do the trick. Opening a window to get more sunlight is a great idea and will help if humidity is low. Turn the fans directly on the drywall to eradicate the wetness. It is important to remember to be quick in responding to the water incident. In the case that you choose to call a Water Damage Restoration company instead of doing it yourself, find one that can get to you in an hour or less. This would give you the best shot at fixing your walls.
Wiping With Dry Towels
With the fans already on, you could wipe the walls with towels to dry and to absorb the moisture. However the process of drying the walls is one that must be done carefully. As drywall is not as strong as a normal wall and when it gets wet, it is much much weaker. At this point, only a little pressure can cause you to blow a hole right through it. If you decide you want to attempt towel drying, do it gently. Don’t use excessive pressure, or you might destroy the wall. Instead, dab at the wall. Press the towel against the affected areas and allow it to suck up the water in that spot before moving to the next.
Removal in the Case of Mold
Mold has been established as fungi which grow at an exponential rate in damp places, but in the case of drywall, mold is much worse. With only a bit of water, drywall becomes a very ideal place for mold to take root. The bad thing is, with drywall, even after drying, mold that has already taken root does not die just because the drywall is dry, it will continue to spread. Not only will it discolor the walls and fill the house with an unpleasant smell, it can be extremely bad for health. In the case of black mold, it can cause difficulty breathing, eye redness and headache. To avoid all of this it is advisable to get rid of a drywall once it is discovered to have mold.
Drywall Has A Point Of No Return
While drywall can be dried, it is important to note that wet drywall can also end up condemned. There is a point the wetness will get to in which drying would not be possible and the wall would have to be disposed of. After you have used the fans and maybe even a few towels, give the wall some space but make sure to continue watching it. Moisture meters are great tools to measure the moisture that one may not be able to see nor feel with hand alone.
After drying, and the wall does not stop sagging, then you will know that the structural integrity of said wall has been compromised and is now not fixable and permanently damaged. If you are a handyman at heart, or you’re just really gifted with tools, you could remove the drywall yourself. Removing the drywall would make the drying process a lot easier. You would also know for certain that the drywall would be thoroughly dried.
If your drywall is beyond saving it would not be hard to tell. Water destroys drywall pretty quickly so it would be very obvious. Also unfortunately, if the drywall needs to be removed, it can be a safe way to know there is no mold present and that the area is dried completely before installing new.
Your drywall can be saved, but if mold is already present behind the wall you may not know. Especially if the leak has persisted for some time. It is not advisable to proceed with work if you’re highly allergic to mold or if there is a significant issue, but much better to leave the job to professionals. Better safe than sorry!