Removing Moisture from Drywall

Water can be devasting to any part of your property. Let alone what you cannot physically see, the aftermath of a water leak can damage the foundation. Once the water is cleaned up and the drying process begins, removing moisture from drywall properly can be tricky. The first step in drying any drywall is to remove all objects hanging on the wall, such as posters or framed photos. If the walls are wallpapered, you need to remove this as well. Then remove baseboards, crown molding, and window and door trim to dry out areas where moisture likes to hide. If these have been soaked with contaminated water, replace them. To speed up drying and increase the chances of saving your drywall, consider cutting out a 4 to 12-inch high section from the bottom and top of each water-logged wall. This creates a chimney effect that moves air behind the wall to dry it faster. Use the tip of a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade for the job. Watch out for pipes, wiring, and ductwork as you cut. Once the drying process starts, getting the moisture out is the goal. If the damage was caused by a frozen pipe that burst and flooded your home, shut off the water immediately. The pipe will need to be repaired by a plumber before you can use it again or if the damage was caused by a storm, you may need to hose down any mud or debris from the walls. Then, pump any standing water out as soon as possible. Remove any waterlogged furnishings as well. You can increase ventilation in the area with box fans. It may be wise to rent high-volume fans to increase airflow. Running a portable dehumidifier to aid in the drying-out process when outdoor humidity levels are high outside. If possible, rent a commercial unit, which removes three to four times more water than residential dehumidifiers.

Each part of the house is different, especially when removing moisture from drywall (Walls, ceilings, floors, basements, attics, etc.). Once they are dried, being able to access the foundation and assess the interior damages is the next step. Seeing what is salvageable and still in place can help solve future problems. Spending a little bit of money to repair the drywall once broken down to see what is happening behind can be a big money saver. This way it is possible to see what needs repaired, replaced and what can be recovered. Consider your time and budget as you make any decisions.  For example, if hardwood floors are damaged beyond repair, you may want to forego the cost of replacement and instead cover them with carpeting, vinyl or linoleum. Or you might lay a new floor over the old, rather than replace it.

Mildew can also occur when drywall gets wet. To remove surface mildew on walls or ceilings, use a mildew surface cleaner (available at paint stores) or: scrub the mildew with household detergent, then scrub with a solution of one-quarter cup bleach to 1-quart water. Rinse well with clean water. Once fully dry, apply a coat of paint containing an anti-mildew agent.

Let Blue River Restoration take the headache of figuring the logistics out of the situation. We are the experts and we can get your home back to its pre-loss condition.  When the stakes are high, the job should only be done once.

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