It's every homeowner's worst nightmare: water damage. Whether it's a broken pipe, a flooded basement, or a roof leak, water can cause all sorts of problems in your home. And one of the biggest questions you'll ask is "How long does it take to dry out the damage?" In this blog post, we'll answer that question and give you some tips on how to speed up the drying process. So read on for everything you need to know about water damage restoration!

The length of time that it takes for a water damaged area to dry out depends on how much water damage there was, the type of area in question and the environment

How Do You Dry Out Water Damage?

The very first step to drying out water damage in your home is to make sure that the source of the water has been stopped. This seems like an obvious step but it can be overlooked sometimes.

Once there is no more water coming in, the second step then is to remove any standing water. If it's a concrete or tile floor, you can mop up the water or if the water is deep you may be better off contacting a flood restoration company in your area. You can also purchase or rent a wet/dry vac to suck up any remaining water in the area.

If the flooring is carpeted, or wood or vinyl, etc. Then you most likely will have to have to replace that flooring.

Now that there is no more water in sight, you can begin the process of drying the area out. You can do this with...

  • Fans - set about several oscilating fans in the area and turn them on. You may have to run them for several days, depending on the severity of the water damage.
  • Dehumidifier - use a dehumidifyiner to help remove moisture in the air, especially if you live in a hot and humid area.

How Do You Dry Out Water Damaged Walls?

Again, you want to act as quickly as possible to fix any drywall that has been damaged by water. Ideally, within 48 hours.

1) If the weather is not humid - open those windows and let the outside air help you to dry out those walls.

2) Use an oscillating fan pointed towards the affected walls. Run these fans for as long as needed.

3) Use a dehumidifier to help you dry out the air in the room(s).

4) Use a wet/dry shop vac to suck water out of the drywall.

5) Remove any items that came in contact with the water such as paintings, shelves, etc.

The key points to remember here are to act quickly and if the damage is large - use a professional water remediation company. Being exposed to mold can cause a host of physical symptoms ranging from eye and skin irritation to coughing and much more.

If any resident in your home is a child or an elderly person - the problems that mold may cause them are more serious so don't take this issue lightly.

How Fast Does Mold Grow After A Water Leak?

It takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow after water damage on any organic material. That is if other conditions that help the mold to grow are also present. Otherwise, mold spores will begin to grow within 3 - 12 days and you won't even be able to see them until day at least day 18.

That means that when you see mold on drywall or anywhere else, it's been growing there for about 3 weeks.

There are basically 5 things that mold needs to grow:

  1. Mold grows on any material that is organic. Such as paper, leather, wood, cotton, wool, soil, food and grease.
  2. Temperatures between 77 - 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Water
  4. High humidity
  5. Oxygen

Because it can take almost 3 weeks for you to "see" mold - it's important to work on eliminating it as soon as possible after any water damage.

Can A One Time Water Leak Cause Mold?

The answer is absolutely yes. It's a myth that you need a large extensive amount of water to cause mold. A one time leak can lead to mold growth as well. But again, mold grows in environments that are damp and humid which can help the mold to grow exponentially.

How To Prevent Mold After Water Damage

There are 7 steps that you can take to help prevent mold from developing and growing after water damage.

1) Dry the affected areas immediately - If it's just a small amount of water and there was no carpeting involved, you may be able to dry the area with towels and the use of a fan (i.e. oscillating fan) to dry out the area. If it's more than just a small leak, you will want to use a wet-dry vacuum to try to remove the water. Otherwise, if it's simply too large an area or too much water, we recommend that you contact a professional Mold Remediation company in your area.

2) Remove any items that may also have been water damaged such as furniture - Anything that came in direct contact with the water for several hours should be removed from the premises and washed and dried thoroughly. This is especially true for items made out of organic material such as cloth covered sofas, curtains, rugs, etc.

3) Inspect the areas for the next 48 hours. Check for moisture and musty smells - You may have to repeat the drying process if you notice that there are still wet spots but if you notice a musty smell - it may be that you will require a professional Mold Remediation service to safely remove the mold completely.

4) If the weather is hot and humid - If you are trying to clean up mold after some water damage during a hot and humid summertime weather then know that you are fighting an uphill battle. Mold LOVES humidity. A dehumidifier will be needed to help you remove the mold. You will also want run one or more oscillating fans directed to the affected areas. Ideally (if the weather wasn't so humid) we would recommend that you open your windows as well - this would work if the weather was not so humid.

5) Carpeting will have to be replaced - There is no good solution for rescuing carpeting that has been exposed to a large amount of water damage. We recommend that you replace both the carpet and the padding underneath.

6) Wood floors may also need to be replaced - Since wood is made out of organic material, the planks of your floor that were exposed to the water damage should also be replaced as well.

7) Vinyl floors may also need to be replaced - Although many vinyl floors these days are "resistant" to mold - it does not mean they are impenetrable. If the water damage is severe enough, we recommend that you replace your vinyl floors as well to prevent further mold growth in your home.

If you have any questions about water damage or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.