How Long Should I Run A Dehumidifier After A Water Leak?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), household water leaks can waste about 1 trillion gallons of water per year, while 37% of homeowners admit that they have suffered losses due to water damage in their homes.

Water leaks are more than just that annoying sound of dripping water on your faucet; it could mean a couple of days of serious cleaning. Even with the use of a sump pump, it would still take days to thoroughly dry out your flooded walls, floor, carpets, and furniture. 

Water damage due to water leak or flooding shouldn’t be put aside as the damp environment can quickly lead to molds growth. Did you know that molds can grow in 48 hours in an area exposed to moisture? When this happens, more serious problems may arise such as damaged furniture that requires costly repair and putting your family’s health at risk of respiratory illnesses. To prevent these risks, you may need to use dehumidifiers to help dry out everything fast.

How do dehumidifiers help?

Dehumidifiers work like vacuum cleaners; they take the moisture out of the air. There are two processes involved in the use of dehumidifiers — absorption and adsorption. Absorption is the taking out of moisture from a material that is soaked with water. Adsorption happens when you pick up water on the surface.

Dehumidifiers don’t stop with drying water leak in your home; they also help reduce allergy symptoms by controlling mold growth. It works by drawing moist air from the room where there is a water leak or flooding. Inside the duct is a rotating wheel that is water absorbent; this will then remove the air’s humidity. Drier air is then blown back into the room. This repeated action will dry out the dampness inside the room fast.

How long should I run a dehumidifier?

The length of time you need to run a dehumidifier after a water leak or flooding depends on several factors. Your water damage specialist will examine the flooded area and determine the extent of the damage. Other factors to consider include:

  • Size of the flooded area

The smaller the affected area, the shorter the time you will need to run a dehumidifier. However, if the whole house is affected by a water leak, you might need to run several dehumidifiers for a couple of days or even a week. A closed area also helps the machine to run efficiently.

  • Humidity level

Another factor that will affect the length of time you will be using a dehumidifier is the air’s humidity level. Typically, you will need to run a dehumidifier longer when a water leak happens in the summer than in winter since humidity is higher during this time.

  • Severity of the damage

A water leak in a concrete or linoleum floor and walls causes lesser damage since these materials are less absorbent. However, if the leaking water reaches your carpet, drywall, wood furniture, and other wooden materials, then you will need a dehumidifier longer. 

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