How To Dry Out Your House After A Water Line Break

Posted on: 16 September 2016

When a water line breaks and floods your home, the first thing you want to do is stop the water flow and then begin drying things out immediately. The longer your floors, walls, and upholstery stay wet or damp, the more they become damaged. It doesn't take long for mold to start growing either, and that complicates the cleanup process. Drying out your home isn't always easy, especially when a lot of water flooded your space. If you have a lot of damage, it may be best to hire a professional contractor to dry things out quickly. However, if you want to attempt the job yourself, here are a few tips that will help.

Rent Industrial Fans

You want to increase air circulation in your home in order to dry it out and prevent mold. Open the windows and use several fans to increase circulation and to dry out the floors and walls. Standard household fans aren't strong enough to do the job quickly. Instead, you can rent or buy industrial fans designed for the job. It's better to use fans rather than your HVAC to dry out moisture. In fact, you should probably turn off your HVAC until restorations are complete because you might draw mold into the ducts and inside your HVAC if you run it when your home is still wet or damp. After you've dried your home as well as you can, you may want to run a dehumidifier for several days just to make sure excess moisture is pulled from the air.

Use A Commercial Wet Vac

You'll need to rent a strong wet vac to suck water off the floor and from between the walls. Keep in mind, water will probably get under vinyl tiles and other places where it is out of sight. It is important to remove all this hidden water, and the best way to do that is with a powerful wet vac. You can try to vacuum the water out of your carpet and other upholstery, but you may still need to remove these items from your home so they can air out in the sun to get fully dry. You need to be especially careful with carpet because the surface may feel dry while the pad underneath is still soaked.

Remove Damaged Items

Drywall absorbs moisture like a sponge. When it's wet, it expands and buckles. If you have a few bubbles, you can scrape them off to level the drywall for repainting. However, if the drywall is saturated with water or bulging, it needs to be replaced. You can do this by cutting out the wet area and placing new drywall in its place. You may need to hire a contractor to do this job for you. In addition to damaged drywall, take an assessment of your home and decide what is worth restoring and what is easier to get rid of. It will save a lot of work and effort if you throw out things you don't really need or that are easy to replace. Find out what your insurance will pay for, because you may find it is more convenient to get rid of a wet carpet or couch than it is to try and dry them out well enough to get rid of mold and mildew odor.

If you're dealing with a big water spill, these tasks may be overwhelming for you to do on your own, especially since you are racing against mold growth in your home. A contractor will bring in a crew and get the job done much faster, and when you compare the cost of hiring a water damage restoration contractor against the cost of buying supplies and renting equipment, you may find it is worth the extra expense to get the job done quickly and done right.