How to Dry Wet Wood in Your Home
Because of the numerous potential causes of water damage in a home, it is the leading cause of property damage. No matter the source of the water damage, it is an issue that requires immediate attention. Otherwise, the harm only worsens with time. Excess water can cause structural damage and even encourage mold growth, which will lead to even more property damage.
Many of the building materials that make up a home’s structure are porous materials, such as drywall and wood. These materials naturally absorb water and excess moisture, so they are easily damaged by water. Water damaged wood in your home is especially concerning because it can rot and buckle, leading to some serious structural issues. But with prompt action, you can salvage the wood before it experiences permanent harm.
If your home has suffered water damage, resulting in water-damaged wood, continue reading to learn more about how to respond to the issue.
1. Address the Moisture Source
Before you can tend to any water-damaged wood and other materials, you first need to take care of the moisture source. If you do not solve the problem that has caused the water damage, then more harm will ensue regardless of whether you addressed the initial damage. So it’s best to resolve the problem at hand so the water damage doesn’t worsen.
For example, if a leak in your home has caused the water damage, fix this leak first. This ensures the leak does not result in further harm to your property and allows you to focus on addressing the existing harm.
2. Remove the Standing Water and Excess Moisture
Once the moisture source has been taken care of, eliminate any standing water and excess moisture that remains. As long as this moisture is present, it can cause further damage. By removing it, you eliminate the opportunity for additional damage.
In situations with minimal water, using rags, towels, and mops could do the trick. But in scenarios concerning larger volumes of water, a pump or wet/dry vacuum would be a better idea. Do not use a standard household vacuum to clear standing water.
When using a wet/dry vacuum, just vacuum up the water and go outside to empty the canister as needed. Once you have removed all the standing water, use a sponge to clean up the leftover dirt and residue.
If you do not have a wet/dry vacuum on hand, there may be ones available to rent at your local hardware store.
3. Expose the Water-Damaged Wood
In order for water-damaged wood to have a chance at drying out, it must be exposed. Otherwise, it likely will not dry. This is especially the case if other materials surrounding the affected wood are also wet. Remove any materials, such as drywall or subflooring, that are blocking the water-damaged wood.
4. Improve Air Circulation
After exposing the water damaged wood, you should work to improve the air circulation in your home. This will help speed up the drying process, giving you a better chance at salvaging the wood.
Open up any windows and doors so long as the weather permits. This will create a cross draft. However, if the weather is severely cold or too humid, use fans instead. Set fans up at floor level so air circulates low, which is likely where most of the moisture is.
5. Dry the Affected Areas
To further speed up the drying process, set up an electric heater. The heat will help evaporate the moisture faster.
If the water-damaged wood is in an enclosed space, consider using a dehumidifier. For example, if your wooden cabinet has sustained water damage, set the dehumidifier up in front of the open cabinet door and allow it to run. It will make a great difference in extracting the moisture from the area.
Hire Professional Help for Water Damage Restoration
If your home has sustained water damage, immediate action is crucial. Sometimes this means it is better to simply leave the drying and restoration efforts to the water damage restoration professionals, because they have the knowledge, equipment, and resources to effectively dry and restore your water damaged property.
ServiceMaster EMT can help with your water damaged wood and property through our professional water restoration services throughout Southern California and Nevada. We will extract the water from your home by using the industry’s best water extraction equipment, and we will speed the drying process by using commercial water drying equipment.