After the source of the water damage has been addressed, all the paintings and other objects on the walls, as well as the moldings, baseboards and wallpaper should be quickly removed. Opening windows and doors can help speed up the drying process. Professionals will utilize tools such as moisture meters, infrared imaging devices, dehumidifiers and fans to be sure the walls are truly dry before further repair, painting or refinishing.
More information on drying out walls:
After a flood, pipe burst or any other event that causes water damage in a home, it is imperative to dry out the walls as quickly as possible. Prompt drying will reduce the risk of structural damage and inhibit the growth of harmful mould.
First of all, the property owner needs to decide whether to handle the problem him- or herself or call a licensed contractor (the latter is strongly recommended if the walls are badly damaged). Here are some tips and guidelines for those who decide to do it themselves:
- 1. If the water intrusion was caused by a burst pipe, the water source must be shut off. The broken pipe will need to be fixed as quickly as possible before any drying can take place.
- 2. The drying process should be accelerated by opening windows and doors. Fans can help move air around the wet walls. Using dehumidifiers, moisture is removed from the air, which indirectly also removes it from the walls.
- 3. In order to further accelerate moisture evaporation, all objects that are hanging on the wall, such as paintings or portraits, must be removed.
- 4. Molding and baseboards should be carefully removed to prevent moisture from being trapped behind them. The molding must be stored in a dry, safe place to avoid damaging it.
- 5. Wallpaper on walls should be removed. This takes patience but is required, as the wallpaper forms a “seal” that holds moisture in the wall. Wallpaper removal solutions, which will dissolve the adhesive, are available at most hardware stores. Once released, wallpapers can be scraped with 8-15 centimeter wide knives.
- 6. Fully drying out walls takes time. The refinishing should not be rushed until the walls are completely dry (a moisture meter can help).
- 7. Once the wall is completely dry, the owner can begin to refinish the room. All items removed must be inspected for any moisture or mould growth before re-installing.
Drying the walls rapidly and completely is critical. If the owner is unable to begin drying the walls immediately, a water damage remediation specialist with appropriate knowledge, experience and equipment should be hired. Most professionals have moisture meters, dehumidifiers, advanced air movers and other specialized equipment designed for the purpose.
The PuroClean professionals are ready to help and can be contacted via our website or by looking up the local office.
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