moisture and mould on wall

How to Dry Damp Walls?

26 October 2021

There are a number of ways that dampness can appear on your walls, but the most common causes are floods, pipe leaks and the build up of condensation. Whenever any of these problems occur they will lead to the build up of dampness on the walls.

Damp patches on a wall are not only unsightly to look at but can lead to other potential issues such as are black mould, wood rotting fungi and over a period of time, damage to the infrastructure of the building. In this article, we will explain ways of drying out damp walls and sorting out the problem.

Sorting Out the Damp Problem

The first thing you will need to do is fix and treat the damp walls. If there is a penetrating damp problem caused by damaged water pipes, gutters or if there any other issues causing damp problems then these will need to be rectified first before the damp problem can be sorted.

To make sure you correctly identify the source of the damp problem we recommend having a damp survey from a fully qualified surveyor. Once the survey has been carried out, the surveyor will detail in a report what actions and treatment will need to be carried out in order to fix the damp problem.

If the water damage stems from having leaking pipes then you should look to hiring a qualified plumber. It is also important to note, if your property is adjoined to another, then the leak may stem from their property.

Draining Away Excess Water

If your property has suffered from severe water damage, then there may be standing water inside of the cavity of the wall. The first thing you should do is to drill a small hole into the wall which is 5cm off the ground to check if any water comes out.

If water does start to come out of the walls, then you should drill a number of holes in the wall to let the rest of the standing water drain out. The holes should be separated by about 40-60cm from each other.

Remove the Damaged Areas That Could Potential Serious Long-Term Issues

To ensure that there is no further damage to the walls then these should be replaced to prevent further damage such as black mould from developing.

When a wall shows signs of black mould problems then this could lead to the whole integrity of the wall being put at risk. There are a number of signs to look out for when trying to spot if a wall needs replacing or not as these are as follows:

  • Black patches on the plaster
  • Cracks appearing on the wallpaper
  • Wood that has become warped (curved or bent)

Methods of Drying Out the Damp Patches on the Wall

Oscillating Fans

Now we have explained what you should do first upon seeing a damp wall but what do you need to do to dry out a damp wall? There are a number of methods you can use to dry out the damp patches on the wall. Choosing the right one depends on how much the damp is affecting your wall.

If the damp affected area is only small, then it is worth using a generic oscillating fan to dry out the area. It might be worth using more than one fan on each damp patch on the wall and making sure that the fans are on the highest setting for the full effect. This will not only dry out the damp spots but also remove some moisture that is in the air.

Dehumidifiers

We have discussed in a previous blog, “Do Dehumidifiers Work Against Damp?”, about using dehumidifiers to stop damp. The simple answer to this question is that they don’t. But, what a dehumidifier can do is help clear the moisture within the air. So, if there are large damp patches on the walls and you need moisture removed from the air then using a dehumidifier might be a worthwhile method to consider.

Moisture Absorbers

­­If the area of damp is located in or near a cupboard or wardrobe then using a fan and a dehumidifier might not be a viable option. Using desiccant moisture traps can absorb moisture from the air.  These have the advantage that they can always be easily removed.

Opening Windows and Doors 

open window

Simply opening your windows and doors that are located near where the dampness is located will help remove the damp musty smell and moisture in the air and replace it with fresh clean air. Improving the air circulation in a room will help speed up the process of drying out the damp wall.

Turning the Heating Up

If you have radiators in the room where there is water damage, then you should consider turning the heating up. This will help speed up the drying process for the water damaged walls.

Remove Anything That Is Covering the Wall Ventilation

As we have previously mentioned, ventilation is the key to not only removing moisture from the damp affected room but also helping to dry the walls more efficiently. Make sure that if anything is covering the wall vents such as wallpaper or photo frames that these are removed to improve airflow.

Damp Problems Occurring on a Regular Basis?

If you are seeing damp patches on your walls on a regular basis then it might be a good idea to consider what is causing the damp problem to occur and look into having some form of damp proofing put in place if required such as tanking.

This would require a fully qualified specialist to carry out this work. At Timberwise, we have a number of highly qualified professionals located across the country to deal with your damp related issue.

If you are unsure what type of damp problem your property is suffering from then booking a survey is the most efficient way of finding out, as well as detailing the correct action needed to get rid of it. To book a damp survey simply call us on 0800 288 8660 or contact us online.