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How Long Does It Take to Dry out Water Damage?

Thursday, September 17th, 2020
dry out water damage

Anyone affected by it wants to know how long it will take to dry out water damage. Quite naturally, they want their home and their daily routine back, ASAP.

We get it. However, exactly when a house is “dry” by established industry standards isn’t determined by the amount of time on the job. The process to dry out water damage involves meeting criteria developed by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and utilized by professionals in the industry. These include:

  • The downward track of indoor humidity, a reliable indicator of water present inside a structure.  
  • Repeated moisture meter readings at specific locations to quantify the amount of water in common building materials and inside structural spaces.
  • Air sampling to detect airborne spores that indicate mold contamination.  

Here are some contributing variables that affect the timespan to dry out water damage:

  • The volume of water. Obviously, a few gallons from a brief appliance overflow that is stopped quickly is a shorter project than a plumbing pipe rupture occurring when no one is home to notice.
  • The category of water. Water from a clean source like a leaky water supply line that is promptly resolved presents fewer complications than contaminated water that requires extensive disinfecting procedures.
  • The extent of spread. Water that has soaked deeply into flooring and saturated the sub-floor, for example, or penetrated ceilings into wall structure and rooms below, will necessarily take longer. Conversely, a limited volume of pooling water that hasn’t spread under baseboards presents a faster, straightforward procedure to dry out water damage.

Ballpark Figures

Currently, the industry average to dry out water damage in a typical residential scenario is 4.9 days to achieve standards of dryness and mold prevention. Following that initial phase, if additional repairs should be required—for example, saturated drywall that can’t be dried must be replaced—the process may extend anywhere from several days to two weeks. In the event of severe water damage, such as widespread outdoor flooding inundating the entire house, the expected timeline for the project would most likely exceed a month.